Hockey World League Semi-Final | Ramandeep Singh's brace helps India thrash Scotland 4-1
Ramandeep Singh scored twice as India romped past Scotland 4-1 in their opening game in the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London. Earlier in the game, Scotland took an early surprising lead over Indian when Chris Grassick, the Scotland captain, struck in the sixth minute.
Scotland stunned India when their skipper fired home in the sixth minute to put the Men in Blue under pressure. However, the Indian team staged a terrific comeback to score four times in quick succession and win the game courtesy goals from Ramandeep Singh (31st, 34th), Akashdeep Singh (40th) and Harmanpreet Singh (42nd).
The Scottish dominated the first half with the majority of the ball possession and kept piling pressure on the Indian defence while in a search for the first goal of the match. They reaped the benefits of their efforts as early as the sixth minute when a baseline pass from Kenny Bain was finished by Chris Grassick with some help from a deflection. Scotland goalkeeper Alexander Thomas then denied the Indian strikers multiple times to help his side hang on to the one goal lead.
India then played the second half cautiously trying to penetrate the Scottish defence while taking calculated risks. Sardar Singh was in the thick of things and created numerous opportunities for the Indian forwards who were denied yet again by the resolute Scotland goalie. Thomas padded away Akashdeep Singh's shot in the 25th minute to finish the second quarter with advantage to Scotland.
The Indian attack broke the shackles in the third quarter and scored four times to take a hefty lead on their Scottish counterparts. First to get his name on the scoring list was forward Ramandeep Singh who scored off a reverse hit after beating defender Willie Marshall to bring the match back onto level terms. Ramandeep fired home for India once again in the 34th minute when he deflected an SV Sunil pass into the goal to help India take a 2-1 lead.
The third goal came when skipper Manpreet Singh set up a beautiful play for Akashdeep Singh who deflected the ball past Alexander Thomas. India then won the first penalty corner in the 42nd minute and India's drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh converted it successfully into a goal to make it 4-1 against Scotland at the end of the third quarter.
India's resolute defence stood its ground and denied Scotland any chance of scoring in the final quarter of the game to finish the match 4-1. India will face Canada in their second game tomorrow.