The Indian men’s hockey team have booked their place in the semi-finals on Thursday with a resounding 4-1 win over Wales.
A Harmanpreet Singh hattrick and a goal from Gurjant Singh helped India reach the final four stage in a match where they put forward a commanding performance. Gareth Furlong scored the consolation goal for the Welsh team.
Wales started on the offensive from the get-go and were applying pressure on the Indian defence. However, India started to counter the offense of their opponents and started to create entries into the circle.
The first quarter between the two teams ended in a stalemate as the Welsh defence was resilient and ensured that the Indian forwards didn’t enjoy much success.
India started the second quarter differently from the first one as they were more on the offensive and got their first penalty corner of Q2 in the third minute of the second 15 minutes. But the Welsh defence was strong and was able to thwart the attempt.
However, they got a second PC and this time Harmanpreet wouldn’t be denied as his low shot found the back of the board to give India the lead in the 18th minute.
A minute later, the Indian vice-captain was on the scoresheet yet again as another drag flick from him was too good for the Welsh keeper. At that moment, India were in complete control of the match.
Wales kept on pushing till the end of the quarter and with less than two minutes left, they had a golden opportunity as two of the forwards were breathing down the goal with Krishan Pathak on the ground. However, they fumbled and India headed into half-time with a two-goal advantage.
India started the third quarter on a positive note and kept applying pressure on the Welsh defence.
The Indian team were rewarded with a couple of PCs with less than five minutes left on the clock for the third quarter and while it didn’t yield a goal, Lalit was able to get a penalty stroke.
Harmanpreet completed his second hattrick of the tournament and put India into a 3-0 lead. Akashdeep Singh almost got India off to the perfect start in Q4. However, his shot in the 47th minute of the game hit the post.
Gurjant made it 4-0 a minute later. The goal was first disallowed but a brilliant referral from India ensured that the decision was overturned.
The Welsh team still kept probing and got themselves a PC goal with less than five minutes left on the clock. Wales were motivated by the goal and the Indian defence looked a bit shaky in the final minutes.
In the dying moments of the game, India got two PCs on the trot but nothing came out of it.
India will now play the semi-final on 6th August.
— ENDS —