India humble Pakistan 6-1

Pakistan set to face India with hope of finish as good as fifth in the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London today (Saturday).

Unlike their cricket team that stunned India in the ICC Champions Trophy final last Sunday, Pakistan's hockey team produced no miracle.

At the other hand, Pakistan lost to Argentina by 1-3 in the quarterfinal of the league's semifinal round, which was also the qualifier for Hockey World Cup at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The loss to Malaysia, their second in two months, would be hard to digest for Roelant Oltmans' men who have been trying hard to regain their place in the elite league of world hockey. Earlier in the tournament, India beat Pakistan 7-1. That victory got overshadowed by the big loss of Virat Kohli's team in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval.

The icing on the cake for India, however, came late in the form of Mandeep Singh, from a wonderful field goal.

But Akashdeep could not make a powerful connection to put the ball past Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad Ali.

India were not done yet as Mandeep Singh scored a goal two minutes before the hooter to make it 6-1 in India's favour.

Mandeep, meanwhile, helped India win their first Penalty Corner in the sixth minute but Harmanpreet Singh's flick was defended well by Pakistan. He was injured early in the second quarter and that was a period when India had total control of the pitch, used the flanks well and injected several balls into the Pakistan "D". Pakistan scored only one goal through Ajaz Ahmad.

Pakistan's abject surrender was disheartening for the fans who turned up.

  • Carolyn Briggs