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General News Hockey World League: India Thrash Pak 6-1, to Face Canada in 5th-6th Playoff

London: India continued to torment Pakistan in the Hero Hockey World League Semifinals, hammering the arch-rivals 6-1 in a 5th-8th place classification match, here on Saturday.

Ramandeep Singh (8th, 28th) and Akashdeep Singh (12th and 27th) struck a brace each while Harmanpreet (36th) sounded the board in the third quarter in India's comprehensive victory in the match.

Pakistan pulled one back through Ajaz Ahmad (41st) in the third quarter while Mandeep Singh (59th) completed the tally for India in the dying moments of the match.

The win is India's second in a row over Pakistan in the tournament after a 7-1 result in their first match. The Indians will take on Canada in the 5th-6th place match on Sunday.

The first quarter belonged to India with play mostly restricted to the Pakistan half. Ramandeep put India ahead in the eighth minute when his reverse flick beat the Pakistan custodian.

Akashdeep had a chance to double the lead four minutes later but it went abegging. He received a pass from Ramandeep, ran into the circle alone and had only the goalkeeper to beat but could not control the ball and ended up missing the goal.

Talwinder though did not make the mistake in giving India their second goal as he deflected a rasping cross from Pardeep Mor from the right.

India took the game away from the arch-rivals in the second quarter with three strikes that handed India a 4-0 cushion at half time.

Pakistan had hardly come to terms with the onslaught when Akashdeep (27th) struck from the left flank as he lobbed the ball past the goalkeeper and the ball hit the bar before crossing the line.

Leaving the Pakistani team in complete disarray, Ramandeep struck for a second time. SV Sunil sent a pass into the 'D' and a fully stretched Ramandeep just had to connect to send the ball into the goal.

Harmanpreet converted a short corner to make it 5-0. Ahmad reduced the deficit, taking full advantage of a rare defensive slip by the Indians.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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Hockey World League: India lose 2-3 to Canada, Finish a Lowly Sixth

London: An inconsistent India wasted chances galore to finish a disappointing sixth in the Hero Hockey World League Semifinals after being stunned 2-3 by lowly Canada here on Sunday.

It was India's second upset defeat against a lower-ranked side in the tournament after having lost to Malaysia in the quarterfinals.

Gordon Johnston (3rd, 44th minutes) scored two goals while Keegan Pereira (40th) found the net once for the 11th ranked Canadians.

Harmanpreet Singh (7th, 22nd) converted two of India's nine penalty corners.

By virtue of this win, Canada not only finished fifth in the tournament but also qualified for next year's World Cup, to be held in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

The loss, although, didn't deter sixth-ranked India's qualification to the Hockey World League Final, to be held later this year, and the World Cup as they are already assured of places in both the events by virtue of being the hosts.

However, it definitely counts for a morale-shattering outing.

India started the encounter as the overwhelming favourites having defeated the same opponents 3-0 in the pool stages, but the script panned out to be completely different as, with a World Cup berth at stake, Canada played with great determination and gave their higher-ranked rivals a run for their money.

Even though India dominated the share of possession and had more shots at the goal compared to their opponents, Canada surprised their rivals when it mattered the most with some great counter-attacks.

India continued their dismal performance from penalty corners as they converted just two out of nine they earned in the match.

Canada took the lead early on in the game when Johnston converted a penalty corner in the third minute.

But Harmanpreet drew parity four minutes later from a penalty corner.

In the second quarter, the Indians secured their third penalty corner but Harmanpreet's low flick was saved by goalkeeper Antoni Kindler, who was brilliant under the Canadian goal today.

Seconds later, Harmanpreet again wasted another penalty corner for India before the dragflicker found the target in the 2nd minute with a powerful low flick to hand his side the lead.

Canada mostly relied on defending in numbers and surprising India on counters.

The Canadians too were dismal with penalty corners, converting just one of the five they earned in the entire 60 minutes.

In the 26th minute, Talwinder's effort, after a fine interchange with Akashdeep Singh, was saved by an alert Kindler.

India secured their sixth penalty corner in the 27th minute but Harmanpreet was off the mark to go into the breather with a marginal 2-1 lead.

After the change of ends, India secured two more short corners but to no avail.

The missed chances cost India dearly as Canada struck twice in a span of four minutes to stun the Indians.

Keegan Pereira first levelled the scores in the 40th minute, pushing in Mark Pearson's cross before Johnston scored the winner with a reverse hit four minutes later.

Down by a goal with just a quarter to left, the Indians went all out attacking and secured two more penalty corners but, as has been the case in the tournament, the chances went wasted.

Credit should also go to the Canadian goalkeeper Kindler, who produced some brilliant saves including a breathtaking effort to deny Mandeep Singh in the 50th minute.

Thereafter, the Canadians defended in numbers to register one of their most memorable wins.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
Thanks given by:

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