Indian men’s hockey team picked up a stunning 16-0 win over the hosts Indonesia in their final match of the Asia Cup 2022 Pool A at the GBK Sports Complex Hockey Stadium here on Thursday and qualified for the second round of the continental meet.
India needed to win by a margin of 15 goals in the final group match to qualify for the Super 4s.
Dipsan Tirkey (42′, 47′, 59′, 59′) starred for India, scoring four goals in the match, while Sudev Belimagga (45′, 46′, 55′) also scored a hat-trick in the match. Pawan Rajbhar (10′, 11),SV Sunil (19′, 24′), and Karthi Selvam (40′, 56′) also scored a brace, while Uttam Singh (14′), Nilam Sanjeep Xess (20′) and Birendra Lakra (41′) scored a goal each to help their team pick up the win.
India started the match against Indonesia at a relentless pace against the hosts, showcasing their intention to get a big win from the first minute itself. In the 7th minute, the team missed a clear chance to get the first goal for India. But they did not have to wait for long to get off the mark as Pawan Rajbhar struck two goals in two minutes to give his team a 2-0 lead before Uttam Singh added another goal just before the closing of the first quarter.
SV Sunil made an impact in the 2nd quarter as he deflected the ball into the Indonesia nets in the 19th minute. A minute later, Nilam Sanjeep Xess added another goal for India from a PC as India extended their lead to 5-0. SV Sunil deflected the ball into the back of the nets a few minutes later to extend India’s lead to 6-0 before the half-time.
Indonesia goalkeeper Alam Fajar defended well in the third quarter as India continued to search for more goals. Karthi Selvam finally broke the resistance in the 40th minute, getting the 7th goal for India. Skipper Birendra Lakra made an impact, getting the 8th goal for India in the 41st minute, after which Dipsan Tirkey and Sudev Belimagga scored a goal each to take India to 10-0 before the start of the final quarter.
In the final 15 minutes, Dipsan Tirkey scored thrice, Sudev Belimagga scored a brace, while Selvam Karthi added another goal as India picked up a consolidating 16-0 win.
India will play their first game of the Super 4s against Japan on Saturday.
Heartbreak for Pakistan
Pakistan suffered a heart-break loss to Asian Games champions Japan who came up with excellent defence to win 3-2 in a crucial pool A match here in the Hero Asia Cup being held at the sprawling GBK Sports Arena on Thursday.
A win against Japan or even a draw would have put Pakistan in the Super 4s but the team has to now depend on the result of India Vs Indonesia match, where the defending champions India need to win by a difference of 15 goals to edge past Pakistan into the Super 4s.
“It’s disappointing that we need to wait for India’s match to learn about our fate of making the Super 4s,” expressed an evidently disappointed Pakistan Skipper Umar Bhutta. However, he credited his team’s resilience and said, “The boys really gave all their heart. We really wanted to make it to the Super 4s but the two goals that were disallowed really hurt our chances and we also ended up getting many cards that didn’t help our chances,” Bhutta added.