Saturday, July 26, 2014

Resurgent India cut hosts Scotland to size

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

The Indian men’s hockey team lacked conviction in their opening 3-1 win over 31st ranked Wales on Friday, but on Saturday, they exuded steely resolve showing marked improvement to outclass hosts Scotland 6-2 at the Glasgow National Hockey Center in Glasgow.

The Terry Walsh-coached side were set up in their way by talented and vastly experienced Gurbaj Singh, who darted down the right and slotted home even as the ball rolled over deflecting off the Scottish goalkeeper. India wasted their first penalty corner, but atoned for that when Vokkaliga

Raghunath fired home in the 22nd minute. The 25th ranked Scotts negated two PC opportunities of India and even forced one PC in the latter stages of the first half, but the latter held firm to go into the half-time break with a 2-0 lead.

India attacked with more vigour in the second half and struck thrice in the first ten minutes of play. Rupinder Pal Singh unleashed a fierce drag-flick in the 37th minute before comeback man Gurwinder Singh Chandi scored a brilliant deflection goal in the 41st minute. Vokkaliga Raghunath struck his second and his team’s fifth in the 45th minute to turn the contest into a one-sided affair.

The goal-hungry Indians made it 6-0 in the 51st minute when Rupinder Pal Singh converted India’s seventh penalty corner – their fourth conversion to trigger more excitement among the Indian supporters. The home crowd created a fair amount of pressure in the closing stages and scored twice through Kerry Bain and Nicholas Parkes, but India’s superiority was never in doubt.

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