Tuesday, September 23, 2014

India cut Oman to size in 7-0 win

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

After a not so ‘happening’ performance in their Asian Games opener against 40th ranked Sri Lanka, India raised their game by several notches to pull off a 7-0 win over Oman. India’s profligacy came to the fore as they wasted a plethora of penalty corner, but can still feel happy about their second win on the trot, which was pretty much on expected lines. The 22nd ranked Oman – who were drubbed 0-9 by India in the 2006 Doha Asiad – kept the Indian forward line at bay in the early stages as the scoreline read 0-0 at the end of the opening quarter.

It was a case of missed opportunities as there was no shortage of attacking moves from the Indians, who forged ahead in the 18th minute when Rupinder Pal Singh drilled in a fierce drag-flick beating the Omani goalie all ends up. Rupinder struck again one minute later off a short corner and seemed to have twisted his ankle while carrying out the set-piece and was taken off the pitch as India hung on to the 2-0 lead at half-time.

The Sardar Singh-led side netted the third goal early in the third quarter when Akashdeep Singh capitalized on India’s eight penalty corner before Vokkaliga Raghunath converted a penalty stroke in the 39th minute as India held a 4-0 lead going into the final quarter.

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India upped their ante in the final quarter as Ramandeep Singh added the fifth goal in the 54th minute off a PC routine – his third of the tournament. Danish Mujtaba scored the sixth six minutes later and it was left to Vokkaliga Raghunath to unleash a power-packed drag-flick to turn the contest the modest win into a rout. It was the Coorg lad’s third of the tourney as India walked off the pitch on a satisfactory note after brushing aside the first game cobwebs.

India will hope for injured Rupinder to be fit as a fiddle for their crunch game against arch-rivals Pakistan on Thursday.
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