Bhubaneswar, Dec 8: Lalit Upadhyay scored a couple of goals as dominant India defeated a spirited Canada by 5-1 in their final Pool C match here on Saturday (December 8) in the ongoing FIH Hockey World Cup 2018.
Harmanpreet Singh (12') gave India a lead in the first quarter itself by converting a penalty corner before Canada came back strongly in the second and third quarter. The Canadians tested the hosts with their impressive defensive skills in front of a packed Kalinga International Stadium.
Vice-captain Chinglensana Kangujam (46'), Lalit (47' and 57') and Amit Rohidas (51' PC) scored for India in the fourth quarter as the hosts finished the game in some style.
FT. India are in top form in their final Pool C game at the OHMWC Bhubaneswar 2018 as their quick attacking play helps them score 5 goals past a quality @FieldHockeyCan side on 8th December.#INDvCAN #IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/uCxYx2Az0g— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 8, 2018
Floris Van Son scored a brilliant field goal in the 39th minute to put the Indians under pressure by hitting an equaliser and causing some panic in the opposition camp. But the hosts executed their plans to perfection in the fourth quarter and came out victorious.
India got their first penalty corner in the 10th minute but they Men In Blue failed to convert it. Harmanpreet's attempt got blocked by the first runner and Canada took the opportunity to counter-attack from the left corner.
India got their second PC soon after and it was skipper Manpreet who injected the ball and Harmanpreet was alert this time around to execute a stunning low shot to score India's first goal!
The Indians got a couple of penalty corners later but they failed to capitalise upon them and the first quarter ended with India 1 and Canadians nil.
Indians played some attacking game from the beginning of the second quarter but they couldn't manage to breach the opposition's defences. Canada, on the other hand, too made some
In the second quarter, the Canadians enjoyed a spell of possession in India's half as the defence works in unison to close out threats. India's custodian PR Sreejesh wasn't happy with his defenders as they committed a couple of unforced errors that could have cost India and helped the Canadians an opportunity to equalise.
At half time, India went into the break with a slender 1 goal lead against Canada. They played some attacking game in the second quarter but the Canadian defence was pretty alert to deny the hosts any more success. Canadians (56%) put up a disciplined show in the second quarter and had better possession than the Indians (44%). India, however, had 19 circle penetrations as compared to Canada's 4.
Team India has spread themselves across the turf as they stifle the Canadian offence within their own half. Canada forced a turnover and executed a fine counter-attack to draw upon level terms with India. Floris Van Son hit the equaliser for the Canadians and stunned the crowd at Kalinga Stadium.
At the end of the third quarter, Canada looked pleased with their effort. They've not only equalised but also defended well. Pressure on India now to take the lead in the final quarter.
India scored soon after the play resumed in the fourth quarter as their vice-captain Chinglensana scored a brilliant field goal to give them a lead in the 45th minute. Lalit Upadhyay extended the lead for India to 3-1 a couple of minutes later as he too hit a brilliant field goal. Lalit pounced on a loose ball from the Canadian defender and executed a perfect thunder-strike to which the Canadian goalkeeper had any response.
The 2 goals in quick succession gave Team India new vigor on the turf as the team unleashed a wave-after-wave of quick attacking runs. Amit Rohidas - the local boy - hit the fifth goal by converting a penalty corner for his team as the Indians kept dominating the fourth quarter.
With his thumping win in their final league game, India finished Pool C at the top and secure a direct qualification into the quarter finals while Belgium - ranked third in the FIH rankings - finish second.