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India rout Bangladesh in opening hockey match
December 04, 2006 20:23 IST
Skipper Dilip Tirkey slammed three goals as India handed Bangladesh a 6-0 drubbing in their inaugural Pool B hockey league match at the 15th Asian Games in Doha on Monday.
India led 4-0 at half-time.
Tirkey struck in the third, 24th and 33rd minutes, getting his goals from penalty-corners.
Shivendra Singh (29th), V Raghunath (43rd) and Adam Sinclair (30th) chipped in with a goal each.
Though not much of a force to reckon with, Bangladesh were still expected to give India a good fight given their track record in the SAF Games, but it turned out to be a surprisingly easy picking for the two-time champions.
The Indians displayed good hockey and coach V Bhaskaran utilised all the players from the bench to get them used to the turf.
Only goalkeeper Bharat Chettri was not fielded.
The Indians forced seven penalty-corners and got goals from the first four. In the process, young drag-flicker V Ragunath also earned his first international goal at this level of competition when he converted the fourth penalty-corner.
India raced to the lead in the third minute when they forced the first penalty-corner and Tirkey's shot found the target.
After that, they took another 21 minutes to get their second goal and, this time again, the skipper found the target off a penalty-corner (2-0).
The Indians increased the pace and pressure to pump in two more goals before the break with Shivendra Singh making it 3-0 in the 29th minute when he dribbled past three defenders and beat the onrushing goalkeeper with a superb reverse shot.
Two minutes before the lemon break, Tirkey was again bang on target, scoring from a melee after the third penalty-corner (4-0).
Having secured a healthy 4-0 lead in the first session, the Indians tended to over dribble and played extravagant hockey though there was no need for it. They tried to play to the galleries by displaying excessive dribbling and stick-work.
The Bangladesh team looked disjointed and played a very defensive game which enabled India to earn penalty-corners.
Indian forwards Adam Sinclair, Shivendra Singh and Hari Prasad displayed their wares and made some good attacks but found it tough to get past the beefed up rival defence.
The fifth goal for the Indians came in the 43rd minute when Raghunath converted the fourth penalty-corner. In the 54th minute, Adam Sinclair found the target to complete the tally.
India's central midfielders Arjun Halappa and Ignace Tirkey played well; Halappa in particular displayed good thrust, anticipation and distributed the ball well.
Ajmer Singh also looked good, and so was Gurbaj, while Tushar Khandekar was, as usual, hardworking upfront.
The Bangladeshi midfielders committed many unforced errors while the forwards lacked punch. They made a few stray attacks, which were aborted midway before they could become any threat.
The Indian coach was satisfied with the team's display.
''We rotated the players and everybody was given a chance to get used to the turf. It is good to start the tournament with satisfying margin of victory,'' he said.
He, however, warned against any sort of over-confidence, saying: ''It is a good start but we have tough battles ahead and we can not get complacent.''
Earlier in the opening pool B match, China overpowered Oman 6-1.