Salalah: Angad Bir Singh scored four goals as India came up with a scintillating performance to thrash minnows Thailand 17-0 in a Pool A fixture in the Men's Junior Asia Cup 2023, making it to the semifinals with an unbeaten record.
With this victory on Sunday, the Indian junior men's hockey team recovered from the 1-1 draw with Pakistan and finished the group stage of the Men's Junior Asia Cup 2023 unbeaten.
The scorers for India were Angad Bir Singh (13', 33', 47', 55'), Yogember Rawat (17'), Captain Uttam Singh (24', 31'), Amandeep Lakra (26', 29'), Araijeet Singh Hundal (36'), Vishnukant Singh (38'), Bobby Singh Dhami (45'), Sharda Nand Tiwari (46'), Amandeep (47'), Rohit (49'), Sunit Lakra (54') and Rajinder Singh (56').
The Indian junior men's team began the contest on the front foot, attacking Thailand with regularity, but were unable to break through in the early exchanges. Thailand not only absorbed the pressure but also looked to attack India, who however edged ahead just before the end of the first quarter when Angad Bir Singh (13') found the back of the net.
Early in the second quarter, India captain Uttam Singh eased through the Thailand defense on the right before Yogember Rawat (17') doubled the advantage.
The Indians were starting to take control of the contest, and before the half ended, captain Uttam Singh (24') also got on the scoresheet, scoring from close range.
A couple of minutes later, Amandeep Lakra (26') smashed home his shot from a Penalty Corner, as the Indian Colts led 4-0, and were showing no signs of slowing down. Soon after Amandeep Lakra (29') scored his second from a Penalty Corner and at halftime the Indian team led 5-0.
Captain Uttam Singh (31') made it 6-0 in the first minute of the third quarter, rifling it into the top corner from the right, and moments later Angad Bir Singh (33') too got his second for the night.
The Indians were dominating proceedings and added another goal soon after when Araijeet Singh Hundal (36') got on the scoresheet courtesy of a powerful hit from the right. India continued to attack, pushing Thailand deep into their half, and the pressure resulted in another goal, as Vishnukant Singh (38') got his name on the scoresheet, making it 9-0. Just before the final break, Bobby Singh Dhami (45') made it 10-0 when he converted a Penalty Corner.
The final quarter wore a similar look to the previous ones, with the Indian team attacking with great gusto as Sharda Nand Tiwari (46'), Amandeep (47') and Angad Bir Singh (47'), all struck in quick succession to make it 13-0. A comeback seemed highly unlikely as the Indians continued to rule. Rohit (49') got into the act as well, making it 14-0 for India.
There would be more to come as India were playing free-flowing hockey, and it was Sunit Lakra (54'), Angad Bir Singh (55'), and Rajinder Singh (56') who added three more goals, making it 17-0. India eventually did not add to that scoreline and came away with an emphatic win, finishing the night on top of the standings in Pool A.—IANS