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Indian men thrash South Africa in hockey

Last updated on: August 01, 2014 06:47 IST

Indian men thrash South Africa in hockey

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A clinical first-half performance from India saw them breeze past South Africa 5-2 and qualify for the semi-finals of the men's hockey competition at the 20th Commonwealth Games.

Having finished second in the pool behind defending champions Australia, India will take on New Zealand in the semi-finals while the Kookaburras are pitted against England in the other last four clash.

Drag-flickers V Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh were on target in the fourth and eighth minute respectively, while Ramandeep Singh scored in the 22nd minute to make it 3-0.

SV Sunil (26th minute) played a brilliant one-two with Nikkin Thimmaia before tapping home for India's fourth goal.

Manpreet Singh dived full stretch to meet an Akashdeep Singh cross to round off the tally in the 58th minute.

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Image: Indian players celebrate after scoring a goal against South Africa


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Having pumped in four goals in the first half, India did drop guard after the change of ends and conceded a couple of goals in the process.

For the Proteas, Taine Patton (42nd minute) deflected one in through a quick counter while Austin Smith was on target in the 46th minute with a successful drag-flick conversion.

India would have got through to the semi-finals even with a draw, but Sardar Singh and his boys showed positive intent during the first 35 minutes in which they clinched a last four berth.

There were three penalty-corners earned in the first eight minutes of play when the Indians repeatedly raided the opposition.

With two successful conversions, the match started in right earnest for Terry Walsh's wards.

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Image: Erasmus Pieterse of South Africa makes a close save from a shot off India's Gurwinder Chandi
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Nikkin and SV Sunil played well upfront

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Nikkin and SV Sunil played well upfront with a lot of support from Chandi and Manpreet Singh.

Although Gurbaaz Singh looked a bit off-colour, skipper Sardar controlled the midfield proceedings to ward off any challenge from the opposition.

The only problem India faced was the lack of numerical advantage when the rival team hit back on counters.

Both Raghunath and Rupinderpal have a tendency of not falling back after going on the overlap.

This led to the freak first goal from the South Africans when Patton just flicked a long pass which was sent down the middle without any intervention from the Indian defensive third.


Image: Gurbaj Singh of India is challenged by Clinton Panther of South Africa
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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