India rip Mexico 18-1 to maintain clean record

March 5th, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by admin  


Santiago, March 5 (IANS) Indian forwards ran circles around the Mexicans and whipped them 18-1 in the most one-sided game of the World Hockey Olympic Qualifiers so far. India, who led 8-0 at half time, also moved ahead of Great Britain in goal averages. In the other matches Great Britain also secured their third win beating Chile 4-0, while Austria beat Russia 5-4 in a tight match.

However with the top two teams in the league slated to play the final, it is most likely that India will clash with Great Britain for the lone Olympic berth available from the tournament.

India and Great Britain are, as expected, at the top of the points table, followed by Austria and Chile, while Russia and Mexico are still chasing their first point.

India’s goal-glut was led by forwards Rajpal Singh (5) and Prabhjot Singh (4), while V.R.Raghunath (5) scored four goals through drag flicks and one was a field goal.

The other scorers for India were Shivendra Singh (2), Tushar Khandekar (1) and Sardara Singh (1). Pol Moreno was the lone scorer for Mexico as the Indians seemed to take their foot off the accelerator in the last minutes.

Surprisingly, the Mexicans were the first to go on the offensive. The earned three penalty-corners in a row, but despite good executions, they were unable to convert them.

It was almost 10 minutes before India opened the scoring. But once they, through Prabhjot Singh in the ninth minute, Rajpal followed two minutes later.

Thereafter the floodgates opened as the Indians scored at ease, with their individual skills and collective speed being overwhelming.

Shivendra Singh and Tushar Khandekar followed up with one goal each as the Indians raced to 4-0 by the 19th minutes. Rajpal got his second goal in 21st, before Shivendra and V.R.Raghunath added more. Rajpal completed his hat-trick in the 30th minute as India closed the first session at 8-0.

The second session was almost entirely played in the Mexican half.

Rajpal raised his tally to five, as did Raghunath, who struck four times in second half and also did the duty of drag-flick specialist. Prabhjot, who scored twice in first half added two more.

The Mexicans were finally rewarded with their first goal in the competition in the very last minute of play through Pol Moreno Quiroz.

Great Britain clashed with Chile in front of a large home crowd. Great Britain had six penalty-corners in the first 20 minutes, but could not score of them.

With tempers flaring, Sebastian Kapsch received a yellow card and Chile were reduced to ten players.

Great Britain was playing with more poise, while Chile were showing signs of nervousness as the game progressed and they were pushed back time after time by the well organized British defense.

Simon Mantell had a great chance in the last minute of the first half but he was thwarted and the score at the interval was 0-0.

Richard Mantell got the breakthrough in the 42nd minute but hardly the commotion died down when Esteban Krainz made it 1-1 for Chile much to the delight of the home crowd.

Great Britain regained the lead a few minutes later, Barry Middleton finished in style following a good run by Jonty Clarke. The margin in increased as James Tindall made it 3-1 after a clever set-up by Simon Mantell who faked a shot to force the goalkeeper to commit then managed to slide the ball to his partner in front of the empty goal. Tindall scored his second goal of the night in the 66th minute, again with the help of Middleton.

Austria and Russia, who clash with each other more often in indoor hockey, were engaged in a close match. It was the Russians who led first and kept the lead at 2-1 at half time.

Austria were more dominant in the second half, using quick short passes to keep control of the ball, while Russia were using long balls that were easily intercepted. Austria wasted a few opportunities, including a number of penalty-corners and a ball that rolled on the line without anybody able to push it in goal. They finally came back level in the 49th minute, when Georg Jelink finished a superb run by Peter Proksch.

Dmitry Azarov gave Russia back the lead through a penalty-corner and then Proksch tied the score once more with a field goal. Austria’s domination was finally rewarded in the 59th minute, when Michael Korper scored with a penalty-corner, his second of the day, giving the lead to his team for the first time of the game.

Soon after, Proksch, scored the winning goal to seal the fate of the Russian team to make it 5-3. Alexander Korolev did get a goal to make it 4-5, but then time ran out.

The Qualifier continues on Thursday in Santiago with the much anticipated game between India and Great Britain, then Austria take on Mexico, and Russia conclude the day against host Chile.

Results and scorers:
India beat Mexico 18-1 (HT - 8-0)
India - Prabhjot Singh (9th, 50th, 60th, 61st)), Rajpal Singh (11th, 21st, 30th, 39th, 69th), Shivendra Singh (16th, 24th, ) Tushar Khandekar (19th, ), V.R.Raghunath (29th, 37th, 54th, 57th, 62nd), Sardar Singh (65th)
Mexico: Pol Moreno Quiroz (70th)

Austria beat Russia 5-4 (HT - 1-2)
Austria: Michael K

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