Jakarta, August 28: Defending champions India made a mockery of Sri Lankan challenge pumping in 20 goals to remain unbeaten in the pool stages, setting up a tricky semi-final clash against Malaysia in the men's hockey competition at the Asian Games here on Tuesday (August 28).
It has been a stellar performance from the Indians in the pool stages as they scored as many as 76 goals and conceded just three. It was always going to be a cakewalk for World No 5 India against Sri Lanka, ranked 38th and it turned out to be so as the title holders toyed with the rival defence to score goals at will.
Here's a look at the first goal scored by the Indian Men's Hockey Team as they went on to beat Sri Lanka 20-0 in their final pool-stage fixture at the @asiangames2018 on 28th August. #IndiaKaGame #AsianGames2018 #KoiKasarNahi #INDvSRI https://t.co/rTMESIzV95— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 28, 2018
Akashdeep Singh (9th, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 32nd, 42nd minutes) scored six goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (1st, 52, 53rd), playing his 200th international match, Harmanpreet Singh (5th, 21st, 33rd) and Mandeep Singh (35th, 43rd, 59th) struck thrice each as India completely dismantled the Sri Lankan defence from start to finish. Besides the duo, Lalit Upadhyay (57th, 58th), Vivek Sagar Prasad (31st), Amit Rohidas (38th) and Dilpreet Singh (53rd) scored a goal each.
India, thus, toped Pool Pool A with an all-win record from five games and will take on second placed team in Pool B, Malaysia in the first semifinal on Thursday. Having already secured their place in the semi-finals, the match against Sri Lanka was an inconsequential encounter for the Indians but they came out full steam to decimate the islanders. Such was India's domination was that the Lankans failed to register a single shot at the Indian goal, leave aside earning any penalty corners.
The Indians, on the other hand, had 46 shots at the Lankan goal and found the target on 20 occasions. The Indians scored 12 field goals, seven from penalty corners and one from penalty stroke. Such was India's confidence that they withdrew their goalkeeper 10 minutes from the hooter for an extra field player and the move bore fruit as they scored six goals in that period.
The Indian Eves will lock horns with China in a decisive Semi-Final encounter at the @asiangames2018 in Jakarta & Palembang tomorrow. Tune in to @SPNSportsIndia and @SonyLIV at 6:30 PM (IST) on 29th August to watch the action LIVE! #IndiaKaGame #AsianGames2018 #INDvCHN pic.twitter.com/F6cVzw0yVe— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 28, 2018
Meanwhile, last edition's bronze medallists India will face reigning silver medallists China in the semifinals of the women's hockey competition here on Wednesday (August 29) while title holders Korea will take on Japan.
Watch the match live on Sony Ten Network or Sony Liv at 6.30 pm IST.