Playing under persistent drizzle that delayed the start by 40 minutes, India overwhelmed Bangladesh to record its third successive victory in Pool ‘B’ of the Asia Cup hockey championship on Wednesday. India won 9-1 after leading 5-1 at half-time and finished its pool matches with nine points.
In the semifinals, India takes on Malaysia, while Pakistan faces Korea.
Convincing though the win was, there was one discordant note in the whole exercise when India conceded its first goal in three matches. Mamunur Rahman, skipper of Bangladesh, managed to outsmart goalkeeper Sreejesh with a penalty corner. Apart from this, the team dominated the whole match. Two fierce penalty corners by Rupinder Pal Singh put the team on course for victory. He also converted a penalty stroke to take his individual tally in the match to four goals. Raghunath helped himself to three goals from 10 penalty corners that India earned in the match.
Nikkin Thimmiah earned the distinction of scoring the first international goal midway in the first half when he netted the third.
Korea routs Oman
An earlier match between Korea and Oman was also delayed by rain. The soggy pitch slowed the action somewhat in the first half when Oman managed to restrict Korea to just two goals. But Korea adapted well to the prevailing underfoot conditions to slam in eight goals in the second half to confirm its semifinal berth where it will clash with Pakistan on Friday.
Thursday is a rest day.
The results: Pool B: Korea 10 (Jang Jong 3, Kang Moon Kweon 2, Yoon Sung Hoon 2, Jung Man Jae, Lee Jung Jun, own goal) bt Oman 0.
India 9 (Rupinder Pal Singh 4, V.R. Raghunath 3, Nikkin Thimmiah, Malak Singh) bt Bangladesh 1 (Mamunur Rahman). Points Table: Pool A: Pakistan- Played 3-Won 3-Drawn 0-Lost 0-GF 24-GA 1-Points 9; Malaysia 3-2-0-1-15-8-6; Japan 3-1-0-2-7-12-3; Chinese Taipei 3-0-0-3-3-28-0. Pool B: India 3-3-0-0-19-1-9; Korea 3-2-0-1-19-2-6; Oman 3-1-0-2-4-20-3; Bangladesh 3-0-0-3-3-22-0.