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Hockey: India crush Thailand 16-0
September 06, 2007 22:01 IST
Defending champions India mauled minnows Thailand 16-0 in their last inconsequential Pool B encounter of the seventh BSNL men's Asia Cup Hockey tournament in Chennai on Thursday.
The hosts, who have already qualified for last four stage, finished with 15 points and maintained a clean slate with five victories in as many matches.
Drag flicker Raghunath converted six of the 11 penalty corners, including five in a row, while Prabhjot Singh (3), Rajpal Singh (3), were other main scorers for the holders.
Tushar Khandekar (2), S V Sunil and Gurbaj Singh (1 each) also enjoyed themselves as India kept pounding the Thailand goal quite regularly.
The hosts were leading with 10-0 scoreline at the break.
Thailand's disastrous showing in the tournament ended after they conceding the maximum number of goals (67) and finished fifth, losing all their five matches.
India next play Japan [Images] in the semi-final match on Saturday, while two-time winners Korea will clash with Malaysia, who topped Pool A with 10 points.
India played aggressive game right from the beginning as drag flicker Raghunath made merry, scoring a hat-trick - all through penalty corners, in the first 15 minutes of play.
The midfield fed the strikers well and play was largely confined to Thailand's half.
With Raghunath completing his tally, Prabjoth too joined the party and it rained goals--seven in eight minutes-- in the stadium
Tushar Khandekar's reverse shot from the edge of the circle stood out among the 10 goals that came in the first half.
Earlier, Japan blanked Singapore 8-0 to finish runners-up in the five-team Pool A behind Malaysia.
Korea scored a 8-0 win over Bangladesh to take second spot in the six-team Pool B, edging out China on a better goal difference.
Korea completed their league engagements with a goal difference of plus 33 against China's plus 26.
Japan shut the door on three-time winner Pakistan, who will have to return home without a medal for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1982. Pakistan have been champions on three occasions apart from finishing runners-up twice and claiming bronze medal once.
China defeated Sri Lanka [Images] 10-2 with De Yunze sparkling with a hat-trick, but it was not enough for them to progress to the semi-finals.
Both Korea and China finished with 10 points with three wins, one draw and one loss.