Indian Men’s Hockey Team got off to a flying start at the Rabobank Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy Breda 2018 here with a 4-0 victory over arch rivals Pakistan.
Strikers Ramandeep Singh (26th minute), Dilpreet Singh (54th minute), Mandeep Singh (57th minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (60th minute) scored in India’s dominant win.
The tournament began here on Saturday at the packed BH & BC Hockey stadium.
The two teams lived up to the billing, pushing each other hooter-to-hooter offering hockey buffs a thrilling experience.
While Pakistan started off in attacking mode, India’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was put to task in the initial minutes of the match when Muhammad Irfan Junior took a strong shot on goal.
But the Indian skipper was up to the challenge making an impressive save. For Pakistan, it was the experienced Muhammad Irfan holding their defence. They used pace in the midfield to hold sway, and did not allow India easy circle entry.
The second quarter was crucial for India after a goalless start.
In the 26th minute, Ramandeep gave India a 1-0 lead when he picked up a brilliant assist from Simranjeet Singh. The goal was set-up by Sardar Singh’s brilliant pass that pierced through the midfield to find Lalit Upadhyay at the top of the circle who eventually passed it to Simranjeet.
Pakistan upped their tempo in the third quarter, as they played an improved structure compared to their previous outings against India at the XXI Commonwealth Games and Asia Cup last year.
Pakistan even found an equaliser at the start of the third quarter but the goal was disallowed after Harmanpreet’s smart decision to take the video referral.
Leading 1-0 at the start of the final quarter, India upped their ante in attack to find three splendid breakthroughs in the 54th, 57th and 60th minute through young forwards Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay.
India will next take on Argentina today.