India crush Oman 8-0 in Asia Cup hockey opener
Mandeep Singh struck a hat-trick as two-time champions India thrashed Oman 8-0 in their opening match of the Asia Cup hockey tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here on Saturday.
The Asia Cup offers India a last chance to qualify for the next year’s World Cup as the winner will get a direct entry into the tournament that will be held in Hague, The Netherlands.
India scored four goals each in both the halves and dominated the proceedings. But high performance manager and interim coach Roelant Oltmans will be worried with the penalty corner conversions and the passing game of the young team.
India managed just two out of the six chances that came their way and were unimpressive with the passing game that could cost them in their next Pool ‘B’ match against defending champions South Korea slated for Monday.
Besides young forward Mandeep (3rd, 40th, 45th), dragflickers VR Raghunath (28th), Rupinder Pal Singh (34th) just managed to convert two of six short-corners. Debutant Ramandeep (17th), Malak Singh (47th) and SK Uthappa (70th) struck once in the second half. Captain Sardar Singh overcame sickness to spend some time on the field.
India were on the attacking mode right from the outset and there dominance was evident as they enjoyed 80 percent of ball possession.
Mandeep drew first blood for India as he scored from a goal-mouth scramble after Rupinder’s dragflick was well saved by Oman custodian Al Noufali Fahad Khamis Salmeen.
Pakistan 7-0 Japan
Malaysia 10-2 Chinese Taipei