Captain Harmanpreet Singh found the net four times as a rampaging India hammered Pakistan 10-2 to record their biggest-ever win over the arch-rivals in a one-sided Pool A match to book a semifinal berth in the men’s hockey competition at the Asian Games here on Saturday.
Harmanpreet scored in the 11th, 17th, 33rd and 34th minutes while Varun Kumar (41st and 54th) struck twice. Mandeep Singh (8th), Sumit (30th), Samsher Singh (46th) and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (49th) were the other goal getters.
Pakistan reduced the margin through Muhammad Khan (38th) and Abdul Rana (45th) as India toyed their opponents for large part of their penultimate pool match. This was the 180th match between the two teams and the 8-goal margin win was the biggest-ever in the history of India-Pakistan hockey.
India’s earlier biggest victory margin was 7-1 against Pakistan registered in 2017.
Pakistan’s 7-1 win in the final of 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi was their biggest win against India.
India, thus, exacted revenge of that humiliating loss 41 years ago though Saturday’s match.
India collected 12 points from four consecutive wins to stay on top of the pool. India will play Bangladesh on October 2 in their last Pool A match.
India took the lead when Abhishek made a fine turn on the left side into the opponent’s striking circle and his pass was deflected into goal in the eighth minute by Mandeep.
Pakistan made some threatening moves and earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute but India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak was upto the task.
India doubled their lead in the 11 minute when they were awarded a penalty stroke and Harmanpreet made no mistake.
Harmanpreet scored his second goal and sixth of the tournament in the 17th minute by converting India’s first penalty corner of the match with an accurate drag-flick.
Abhay Singh won the battle of attrition against Noor Zaman for the biggest prize of his career as top seeds India regained the Asian Games squash gold with an epic 2-1 win over Pakistan here on Saturday.
Before the tournament began, the Indian men’s team was expected to step on the top of podium after eight years with its main challenge coming from Malaysia and Pakistan, the sport’s powerhouse in the yesteryears.
In squash, Saurav Ghosal-led side managed to see off both the opponents on their way to glory. The win in the final against Pakistan came after the loss to the arch-rivals in the league stage.
Zaman, ranked 113, had got the better of world number 69 Abhay in that contest earlier this week and for the major part of the match on Saturday, it looked going in Pakistan’s favour again.
In badminton, Kidambi Srikanth rallied his way to a thrilling win in a tense decider as India stood one step away from winning their first-ever gold medal at the Asian Games, reaching the men’s team championships final with a 3-2 win over South Korea here on Saturday.
This is India’s maiden entry into the final of the team event at the continental showpiece.
World No. 7 HS Prannoy showed nerves of steel to bounce back from an opening game reversal to outwit Jeon Hyeok Jin 18-21 21-16 21-19 and put India 1-0 ahead but Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost the first doubles 13-21 24-26 to world champions Seo Seung-Jae and Kang Min-hyuk as Korea made it 1-1.
Indian long-distance runners Kartik Kumar and Gulveer Singh bagged a silver and bronze medal respectively in the men’s 10000m race with personal best times at the Asian Games here on Saturday.