Wednesday, May 28, 2014

World Cup Warm-Up: India ease past South Africa 4-1

The Indian men's hockey team turned on the style easing past South Africa 4-1 in their second and final practice game at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Netherlands on Thursday.

The world number eight started proceedings on a bullish note, drawing first blood through vice-captain Rupinder Pal Singh as India held on to their solitary goal at half-time.

India did not allow South Africa to mount a serious fightback in the second half as Rupinder got his second goal of the day to give his side a cozy 2-0 lead before South Africa reduced the margin to make the scoreline 2-1.

Captain Sardar Singh made it 3-1 and it was left for Vokkaliga Raghunath to get his name on the scoresheet as India walked off the pitch with their heads held high with a convincing 4-1 win.

The win should put the Blueshirts in a right frame of mind ahead of the 2014 Rabobank World Cup opener against 5th ranked Belgium on Saturday. It may be worth recalling that India had lost the opening practice game against Argentina 1-2 and also suffered a setback with two of their strikers - Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah withdrawing from the marquee event with different injuries.

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