Jakarta, August 20: Indian men's hockey team hammered a lowly Indonesia 17-0 to open its title defence in a rousing fashion at the Asian Games on Monday (August 20).
As many as three Indian players scored a hat-trick each as India toyed with the Indonesians in the lop-sided Pool A encounter.
Dilpreet Singh (6th, 29th, 32nd min), Simranjeet Singh (13th, 38th, 53rd) and Mandeep Singh (29th, 44th, 49th) scored a hat-trick each for India, while Rupinder Pal Singh (1st, 2nd), Akashdeep Singh (10th, 44th), S V Sunil (25th), Vivek Sagar Prasad (26th), Harmanpreet Singh (31st) and Amit Rohidas (54th) were the other scorers.
It was expected to be a goal feast as Indonesians were never a match for the World No 5 Indians. Indonesia got a chance to play in the event only by virtue of being hosts.
The floodgates opened from the onset and continued till the final hooter was blown. The Indians had 40 shots at the goal out of which they converted 17. India scored 10 field goals, six from penalty corners and one from the spot. They converted six out of 11 penalty corners earned. Such was the difference in quality between the two sides that Indonesia had only one crack at Indian goal.
FT| The Indian Men's Hockey Team cruise past hosts Indonesia in their first game at the @asiangames2018 as 3 players register hat-tricks during a remarkable 17-0 victory on 20th August 2018.#IndiaKaGame #AsianGames2018 #INDvINA pic.twitter.com/kTjHuLRlFQ— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 20, 2018
India will next play Hong Kong China on Wednesday.
"This was exactly the kind of start we were looking for. We were not chasing any record of winning by maximum goals but a 17-0 margin in the first match instills confidence especially for the youngsters. The idea was to use different scoring combinations which we had worked on during the National Camp and I am happy with the way the team executed," stated chief coach Harendra Singh after the win.
On Sunday, even the women's team had an easy outing against Indonesia, thrashing them 8-0. The Indian side, ranked highest in the competition at ninth, completely dominated the Pool B match against the home team which does not even feature in the FIH rankings chart. Gurjit Kaur found the target in the 16th, 22nd and 57th minutes, while Vandana Katariya (13th and 27th) struck twice. Udita (6th), Lalremsiami (24th) and Navneet Kaur (50th) were the other Indian scorers.
The women's team will next take on Kazakhstan in their next Pool B encounter on Tuesday (August 21).