India bounced back after two back-to-back losses in the Hockey World League Semi-final to humble arch-rivals Pakistan 6-1 in the 5-8 classification match in London on Saturday. Earlier in a group match, India had beaten Pakistan 7-1 on Sunday.
After the win, India will now play the 5-6 position match in which they face Canada who earlier beat China 7-3. The winner of the India-Canada game will finish fifth and qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
For India, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh struck scored two goals each while Harmanpreet and Mandeep Singh scored a goal each. This was Mandeep’s first goal of the tournament. Pakistan scored only one goal through Ajaz Ahmad.
India many chances, including a last moment penalty corner, to beat Pakistan by a bigger margin but they failed to convert them and had to settle for a 6-1 win.
Right from the start of the match, India dominated the play by playing attacking game and not allowing Pakistan to break into the Indian half. It took India only eight minutes to score the first goal. Ramandeep pulled off a reverse flick past the Pakistan goalkeeper.
Talwinder doubled India’s lead with a deflection off a Pardeep Mor pass from the right. India added two more goals in the second quarter and enjoyed a 4-0 cushion at half-time.
Akashdeep added India’s third goal as he lobbed one over the goalkeeper’s head. It hit the crossbar before crossing the goal-line.
SV Sunil and Ramandeep combined once again to score India’s fourth goal. Sunil sent in a pass into the circle and Ramandeep had to dive full-length. He deflected the ball in.
Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to make it 5-0 before Ahmad scored a field goal to pull one back for Pakistan.
India were not done yet as Mandeep Singh scored a goal two minutes before the hooter to make it 6-1 in India’s favour.