India outclass Pakistan 6-0 in Sultan of Johor Cup
Johor Bahru (Malaysia): Defending champions India bounced back from their loss to Great Britain in style with a 6-0 thrashing of arch-rivals Pakistan in their third match of the Under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium, here today.
The two teams played traditional hockey in the first 15 minutes but the Harjeet Singh-led side started its dominance soon after and the aggression paid off with a penalty-corner conversion by forward Imran Khan in the 22nd minute.
The vice-captain’s powerful strike was defended by Pakistan goalkeeper Muhammad Khalid but he had no answer to Imran’s rebound, which gave India the lead.
The Indian team soon doubled its score through Parvinder Singh from open play in the 34th minute.
Armaan Qureshi continued India’s surge with another field goal in the 49th minute.
India struck again four minutes later, this time through Harmanpreet Singh from a penalty corner. Varun Kumar converted another penalty corner in the 67th minute.
Still hungry for more, Armaan netted his second goal of the match via a penalty corner to make it six-nil for India and coach Harendra Singh was sure satisfied with the performance.
“It’s good win but there’s still lot of areas to improve,” said Harendra.
“I’m happy we didn’t lose our emotions. The input given to the players were well executed by them.
“I have to give credit to my players. They switch from fast play to holding the ball very well. It was a display of maturity,” he added.
India, who beat New Zealand in their first league game, will take on hosts Malaysia on Friday.
In another interesting game, the Australian U-21 side came from three goals down to edge past New Zealand 4-3 and stay atop the league table in the six-nation tournament.