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Hockey: India rout Bangladesh
September 04, 2007 20:13 IST
Holders India shrugged off a lethargic start to post a 6-0 win over Bangladesh for their fourth straight victory in the six-team Pool B of the seventh BSNL Asia Cup hockey tournament in Chennai on Tuesday.
In an inconsequential Group-A tie, Hong Kong wiped off their deficit twice before getting the better of Singapore 3-2. Both Hong Kong, who completed their engagements with a win and three losses and Singapore, losing all their three matches so far, went out of the reckoning.
Raghunath (2 goals), Prabhjot Singh (2), Tushar Khandekar and Shivendra Singh were the scorers for India.
India huffed and puffed to gain the advantage against a fighting Bangladesh to maintain a clean slate. Each half in the 70-minute regulation time had a different story to tell.
The Indians, having made the semi-final grade on Monday with a fine 3-2 win over Doha Asian Games champions Korea, played a relaxed game in the first half. Despite slipping through the Bangladeshi defence on many occasions, the hosts failed to score in the first half an hour. After squandering four penalty corners, India went into the lead through Raghunath.
In the 32nd minute, Sardar Singh, one of the talented players in the Indian ranks, passed to Shivendra Singh on the right. Shivendra's centre was shot home with alacrity by Raghunath (1-0). The Indians had two more goal scoring chances later but failed to capitalize on them and had to be content with the 1-0 lead at the break.
Bangladesh goalkeeper Mohammad Zahid Hossain stood out, saving a minimum of five sure goals and was rightly adjudged man of the match.
Crossing over, the Indians were a transformed lot with the players apparently been pulled up by chief coach Joaquim Carvalho during the break for their pathetic display in the first half.
The very first minute of the second half saw Rajpal Singh lacking the finish to score a goal. Following a combined move, hardworking Sardar Singh put Shivendra in possession and the latter crossed towards the goalmouth. But with only goalkeeper Zahid Hossain to beat, Rajpal failed to connect the ball.
India increased the lead (2-0) in the 37th minute with Ignace Tirkey being instrumental in a delicate and superb cross from the 25 yard line to Shivendra after hoodwinking two defenders. Shivendra's pass from the right was accepted by Tushar Khandekar in front of the goal, who made no mistake.
Before the celebrations could die down, Shivendra made it 3-0, thanks to a combined effort by William Xalxo and Prabhjot Singh. India increased the lead to 4-0 in the 52nd minute with a goal scored by Prabhjot Singh after Shivendra showed opportunism in trapping a rebound from the goalkeeper's pads.
India's fifth goal was netted by Prabhjot Singh in the 60th minute. Accepting a long clearance by William Xalxo from the right, Prabhjot reverse flicked the ball into the netting with the goalkeeper rooted to the right side of the goal.
Raghunath too got into the act, scoring the sixth goal, converting the seventh penalty corner.
India play their last match against Thailand on Thursday.