Commonwealth Games 2022 men’s hockey: India go on top of group after overpowering Canada 8-0

Harmanpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored two goals each. India will play their last pool match against Wales on Thursday.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The Indian men’s hockey team beat Canada 8-0 in its third Pool B match at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK, on Wednesday.

Harmanpreet Singh (7', 56') and Akashdeep Singh (38', 60') scored two goals each for India at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre. Amit Rohidas (10’), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (20’), Gurjant Singh (27’), Mandeep Singh (58’) scored the remaining goals for India.

The win took world No. 5 India on top of Pool B courtesy of their superior goal difference over England. Both England, ranked sixth, and India have two wins and a draw under their belt but India hold the edge with a goal difference of +19 compared to England’s +8. Canada, meanwhile, are yet to win a match at Birmingham 2022.

India exposed the Canadian backline to win two penalty corners inside the first five minutes but failed to get on the board.

The Indian hockey team found a certain breakthrough two minutes later through Harmanpreet Singh’s drag-flick from the left to the inside right of the goal.

In the 10th minute, Indian defenders Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas combined to take India 2-0 up.

Varun Kumar’s precise pass from the mid-field exploited the huge gap and found Amit Rohidas, who made a brisk run inside the D and converted with ease.

The second quarter saw Canada make their first circle penetration and also earn their first penalty corner. India, however, averted the danger and pumped in two more goals and extend their lead to 4-0.

Canada’s goal-keeper Ethan McTavish made multiple saves from the penalty corner in the 20th minute but could not find enough support from his defenders. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, after numerous Indian attempts, scored his second goal at CWG 2022 on the rebound.

With three minutes to play in the first half, Hardik Singh cut the Canadian defence with another run inside the D. Hardik Singh then passed it to Gurjant Singh, who made no mistake and slotted it low in the right of the goal.

In the first half, India dominated 60 per cent of the possession and made 23 circle penetrations compared to Canada’s two.

The Indian men’s hockey team kept the ball rolling in the third quarter.

Indian captain Manpreet Singh and the mid-field set up a straightforward chance for Akashdeep Singh, who made it 5-0 for India in the 38th minute.

After a drop in intensity in the first 10 minutes of the final quarter, India’s Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner in the 56th minute, followed by Mandeep Singh’s trademark tomahawk two minutes later.

Akashdeep Singh then made it 8-0 with an acute angle from the left to the right of the Canadian goal-keeper in the final minute of the play.

India will play their last pool match against world No. 13 Wales on Thursday.

The table toppers in Pool B will take on the second-placed team from Pool A in the semi-finals and also avoid reigning champions Australia.

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