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India score a dozen too late
December 12, 2006 21:20 IST
V Raghunath slammed in five goals as India pulverised lowly Chinese Taipei 12-1 in the Asian Games men's hockey classification match in Doha on Tuesday.
The Indians, who suffered the ignominy of being out of medal contention for the first time in Asian Games history, pumped in goals with ease in a ridiculously lop-sided encounter at the Al Rayyan stadium.
Defender Ragunath was the pick of the Indian players while forward Shivendra Singh and Rajpal Singh chipped in with two goals each. Tushar Khandekar, Tejbir Singh and Adam Sinclair scored a goal each. Kuo Heng Fan was the lone goalscorer for Taipei.
Raghunath, who is gradually emerging as a penalty corner specialist, began the goal deluge in the 20th minute of the contest and, from then on, there was no respite for the hapless Taipei players who conceded as many as six goals in the last 16 minutes.
The Indians will now clash with Malaysia for the fifth position tomorrow. The Malaysians thrashed Bangladesh 6-1 in another classificaion match.
"Today, we played a good game. Raghunath did a fantastic job. We were lucky with short corners. We aimed to score 10 goals and the boys played very well in the second half," captain Dilip Tirkey said.
The Taipei players did well in the first 20 minutes of the game by keeping the Indians at bay but Raghunath's first goal through a penalty corner opened the floodgates.
He slotted home another short corner in the 27th minute but Taipei responded with a goal of their own as the two teams went into half time with a 3-1 score.
After the breather, the Indians launched a merciless assault on their opponents who were totally taken off guard.
It was Tejbir Singh who scored the first goal of the second half in the 39th minute and the Indians increased their lead with Shivendra finding the target again 10 minutes later.
Raghunath then converted two penalty corners in quick succession in the 54th and 56th minutes while another conversion by Rajpal Singh in the 60th gave India an emphatic 8-1 lead.
Rajpal (63rd), Raghunath (66th), Adam Sinclair (67th) and Tushar Khandekar (69th) then struck goals to complete the misery for Taipei.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage