India started on a positive note and scored an emphatic win over Oman in their 9th Asia Cup Hockey Championship.
Mandeep Singh was the star who netted a hat-trick as India blanked Oman 8-0 note at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia on Saturday.
The tournament is of utmost important for India to qualify for the World Championships and the Indian team indulged in goal fest as they scored four apiece on either side of the break.
For the winners, Mandeep (4th minute, 40th, 44th) struck thrice, while Ramandeep (17th), V R Raghunath (28th), Rupinderpal Singh (34th), Malak Singh (47th) and S K Uthappa (69th) sounded the board once.
Knowing fully well that winning the Asia Cup would guarantee a place in next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, the Indians meant business.
In the opening half, majority of India's build ups came from the right flank with Ramandeep Singh and Malak Singh combining well.
But penalty corner conversion seemed to be a worry for India as they utilised just two out of the six that came their way in the entire duration of 70 minutes.
Pakistan thrashed Japan 7-0, while hosts Malaysia demolished debutant Chinese Taipei 10-2 in their respective Pool A matches.
Photograph: Hockey India/Facebook