Asian Games: India achieves record victory over Pakistan in hockeytext_fields
Hangzhou: Captain Harmanpreet Singh led India to a resounding 10-2 victory over Pakistan in a one-sided Pool A match during the Asian Games in Hangzhou, securing India's largest-ever win against arch-rivals and booking a semifinal berth in the men's hockey competition.
Harmanpreet made an incredible contribution, scoring four goals in the 11th, 17th, 33rd, and 34th minutes. Varun Kumar also netted twice in the 41st and 54th minutes. Mandeep Singh (8th), Sumit (30th), Samsher Singh (46th), and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (49th) added to India's goal tally.
Pakistan managed to reduce the margin with goals from Muhammad Khan (38th) and Abdul Rana (45th). This match marked the 180th encounter between the two teams, and India's 8-goal margin victory was the largest-ever against Pakistan in hockey.
This victory allowed India to avenge the humiliating 7-1 loss to Pakistan in the final of the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.
India currently tops Pool A with 12 points from four consecutive wins.
The team opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Abhishek made a skillful turn on the left side and delivered a pass that was deflected into the goal by Mandeep.
In the 11th minute, India doubled the lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke, which Harmanpreet converted successfully.
Harmanpreet extended India's lead in the 17th minute by converting India's first penalty corner with a precise drag-flick.
Despite some threatening moves from Pakistan, they failed to secure a clear shot at the Indian goal.
Pakistan earned their second penalty corner in the 28th minute but couldn't get past veteran Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.
Sumit scored just seconds before halftime with a powerful reverse hit, extending India's lead to 4-0.
India made it 5-0 early in the second half when Harmanpreet converted another penalty stroke after the ball hit a Pakistani player's foot.
The match continued to be one-sided as India earned three consecutive penalty corners, and Harmanpreet scored his fourth goal of the day with a fine drag flick. Varun, Shamsher, and Lalit also contributed with field goals in the 41st, 46th, and 49th minutes. Varun found the net for the second time of the day with a penalty corner conversion six minutes from the final hooter.
India's final pool match is against Bangladesh on October 2.