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India whip China in Jr. Asia Cup opener

April 21, 2004 14:27 IST

Penalty-corner ace Sandeep Singh and captain Sandeep Michael scored hat-tricks as reigning World champions India opened their Junior Asia Cup campaign with a 10-0 rout of China in Karachi on Wednesday.

Sandeep Singh hit the board with immaculate penalty-corner conversions in the 12th, 25th and 42nd minutes as India made a strong start in their quest for of the three places up for grabs from this tournament in next year's Junior World Cup in Amstelveen, The Netherlands.

Michael scored field goals in the ninth, 49th and 69th minutes.

India won the world junior title in Hobart, Australia, in 2001 and are one of the three favourites alongside hosts Pakistan and South Korea to win the ongoing tournament.

Tushar Khandekar started the goal spree as early as the seventh minute before Sandeep hit two and Michael one goal to take the tally to 4-0.

The Indians reached half-time with a fifth goal through Hari Parsad as China looked helpless against their fast-moving opponents.

Girish Pimpale and Michael netted two goals each and Sandeep one in the second half to complete the rout.

China had secured a come from behind 2-2 draw against Bangladesh on the opening day of the competition yesterday.

The ten-nation Asia Cup serves as the regional qualifying rounds for the Junior World Cup.

"It's nice to score ten in your first match and I am happy with Sandeep's penalty-corner conversion," said India coach Harendra Singh in his post-match comments.

"Sandeep got four penalty-corners and a conversion of three is a good ratio," said the coach.

In the other matches on day two, Malaysia meet Bangladesh, Japan play South Korea and Pakistan take on Chinese Taipei.

India, pitted to meet either Pakistan or defending Asian junior champions South Korea in the semi-finals, take on Sri Lanka in their second match tomorrow.

Pakistan thumped minnows Singapore 9-0 yesterday.

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