[India], June 7 (ANI): India defeat Russia 10-0 in their first match of the FIH Men's Series Finals at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.
India showcased their skills of the field hockey and outclassed Russia. Early in the match, India got a penalty corner but couldn't able to convert it to the goal. Local boy Amit Rohidas managed to keep the pace of the game going in the first quarter and kept on penetrating the circle in search of the very first goal.
Indian midfield kept the opponents on their toes. Nilakanta Sharma got the deflection right through the post in the 13th minute to give India an early lead in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the scoreline of 1-0.
India started the second quarter at the same pace of the first quarter and refused to lower the tempo of the game as they scored another goal. Birendra Lakra stormed past the opponents after making an unbelievable interception to make a timely pass to Sumit, who passed to Simranjeet, and Simranjeet to the net, scoring India's second goal.
Amit Rohidas also joined the party and scored the third goal, to strengthen the lead further 3-0. The score remained at 3-0 at the end of the second quarter.
In the initial minutes of the third quarter, Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to a goal in the 32nd minute giving India a lead of 4-0.
Two minutes after the fourth goal, penalty corner specialist Varun Kumar strike for India 5-0, making it difficult for Russia to bounce back.
Gursahibjit Singh made no mistake in netting perfect assist from Simranjeet, scoring his first international goal in the 37th minute making lead to 6-0.
India continued its relentless approach to penetrate inside the Russian circle. Akashdeep strikes the seventh goal for India in the 42nd minute. It was fiery pass by Mandeep Singh and the former flicked it calmly into the goalpost.
The prodigious Vivek Sagar Prasad joined the party and trapped the pass inside the circle as he found the back of the net in the 45th minute, making it 8-0 at the completion of the third quarter.
In the last quarter, Gursahibjit Singh made a circle entry but a tackle by the Russian defender had given India a penalty corner. Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner to goal scoring his second goal of the match and sealing India's victory.
After lacking behind by 9-0 Russians were relied on short passes to find an opportunity to get a breakthrough.
Akashdeep's goal gave India a double-digit mark in the 56th minute of the match and clinched Russia by a humongous margin of ten goals.
In the quest of qualifying in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, eight teams from Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America are battling for top two positions, as only the top two teams will alotted Olympic qualifier quota.
India will next play against Uzbekistan on June 10. (ANI)