Sports News, June 16:- India held their nerve to comeback from a 0-1 deficit to beat a determined Scotland 4-1 in their opening match here at the Hero Hockey World League Semi Final on Thursday.
It was goals by Ramandeep Singh (31′, 34′), Akashdeep Singh (40′), Harmanpreet Singh (42′) that helped India clinch their first win in the Pool B encounter.
The first quarter belonged to the underdogs Scotland who displayed good attacking skills to put India on the back foot.
Both teams slowed down the pace just a little bit in the second quarter. India played cautiously, rotating the ball only to make well-calculated entries into the striking circle. India’s midfielder Sardar Singh was in the center of action with some impressive dribbling trying to make space in the circle.
India made great amends to a poor start with two more goal. In the 40th minute, it was India skipper Manpreet Singh who set up a goal for Akashdeep, who timed his run to perfection to receive the pass and deflect it past Alexander.
In the 42nd minute, a clever-thinking Sunil’s appealed for video referral that saw India win their first PC of the match. India’s young dragflick sensation Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake with a brilliant flick, picking up the ball from injector Sardar Singh, to send the ball like a bolt to the top corner of the post. At the end of the third quarter, India enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 lead.
India did well in the final quarter to defend their lead, denying any opportunity for the Scottish players to score their second goal of the match. India’s young goalkeeper Akash Chikte too held his nerve to ensure India walked away with a 4-1 win.
India will play their next Pool B match on June 17 against Canada.