Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh scored a hat-trick as India humiliated lowly Oman 9-0 to enter the semi-finals in the eighth junior men's Asia Cup hockey tournament, in Kuantan, Malaysia, on Thursday.
Besides Harmanpreet who scored in the seventh, 12th and 50th minute, India's other goal-scorers in the quarter-final contest were Arman Qureshi (10th minute), Gurjant Singh (18th), Santa Singh (22nd), Mandeep Singh (30th), skipper Harjeet Singh (45th) and Mohammad Umar (54th).
India will meet Japan in the first semi-final on Saturday.
India started on an attacking note and was rewarded with a penalty-stroke in the initial minutes of the game, which was converted by Harmanpreet Singh.
The Indians continued their goal-fest as Harmanpreet struck again by converting a penalty-corner 15 minutes into the opening half. They pumped in four more goals to take a commanding 6-0 lead at half-time.
Apart from Harmanpreet, Armaan, Gurjant, Santa and Mandeep were the other goal-getters in the first-half.
India continued in the same vein after the change of ends with Harjeet making the scoreline 7-0 11 minutes into the second-half.
Harmanpreet then converted another penalty corner to complete his hat-tirck.
Umar scored a field goal to round off the tally.
"The performance against Oman will give us a lot of confidence. A win with such a huge margin will help us come back to the training grounds with a lot of energy and strive for more in the upcoming semi-final. We are taking one step at a time and our energies are now just focussed on converting the semi-final encounter to our favour," said the team's coach, Harendra Singh.
Harmanpreet's hat-trick took his tally of goals to nine in the tournament, thereby making him the highest scorer for India.