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Champions Challenge: India slam seven vs Poland

Source: PTI
November 29, 2011 20:51 IST

Tushar Khandekar and Yuvraj Walmiki scored two goals each as India spanked Poland 7-0 to enhance their chances of finishing on top of Group A in the Champions Challenge hockey tournament, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

India finished their group engagements with seven points from three matches and await the result of the Belgium-South Africa match to know if they will finish on top the group.

The Pool A toppers will take on Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Belgium and India both had four points each before the last round of group matches, but Belgium enjoyed a one-goal edge on goal difference to lead the pool standings ahead of Tuesday's games.

India enjoyed complete domination against Poland, who lost all their three preliminary league matches by huge margins.

To start with, India had a narrow shave in the 11th minute when Polish captain Dariusz Rachwalski's deflection on a penalty-corner went just wide with the defenders beaten.

Walmiki opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he deflected Manjeet Kulu's long diagonal shot past the goalkeeper.

Shivendra Singh then capitalised on a Danish Mujtaba pass for India's second goal in the 23th minute.

At the other end, Poland were unlucky not to have scored two minutes later when Tomasz Gorny's firm shot hit the post after beating the goalkeeper.

Walmiki's opportunistic 33rd-minute strike produced his second goal which gave India a 3-0 lead at half-time.

Manpreet Singh capitalised on SV Sunil's pass in the 44th minute to continue the scoring spree in the second session.

Birender Lakra slammed in a reverse drive in the 53rd minute before Khandekar scored a brace in the 55th and 70th minutes.

Earlier, in Pool B action, Pedro Ibarra and Agustin Alejandro Mazzilli scored two goals each as Pan-American champions Argentina bounced back from a half-time deficit to rout Malaysia 5-2 and top the group.

Argentina finished with seven points through two wins and a draw.

Japan pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory over Canada to take the second spot in the four-team group, with five points from a victory and two drawn matches.

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