India tamed a defiant China 4-0 to register its fourth consecutive win in Round 2 of the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) at the National Stadium here on Saturday.
The host, which will play Bangladesh in its last league outing on Sunday, has 12 points to remain on top and strengthen its claim for a spot in the next round of the HWL.
It was a different kind of test for the busy Indian attackers. The forwards, who were supported well by the fluent midfielders, worked hard and utilised the free space on both the flanks. But they struggled to get past the strong Chinese wall.
After five failed attempts in the initial 10 minutes, India — which required sharpness in finishing — drew first blood through V.R. Raghunath’s penalty corner conversion.
India extended its lead after another phase of toil. Raghunath slotted the ball in from the left in the 28th minute. The host would have taken a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time had Mandeep Singh’s hit not sailed over the crossbar.
The Indian frontline showed maturity in executing moves and scored two quick goals after the break. Dharamvir Singh slotted in one from a coordinated effort, while Rupinderpal Singh found the mark off the second short corner.
The results: Bangladesh 8 (Krishno Kumar Das 3, 11, A.H.M. Kamruzzaman 16, Mohd. Mamunur Rahman 48, 54, 65, 68, Sheikh Mohd. Nannu 55) bt Fiji 4 (Jerome Edwards 17, Adrian Smith 24, 69, Alsace Smith 51).
Ireland 7 (Alan Sothern 15, 38, og- 26, Conor Harte 30, Michael Darling 40, 43, David Carson 56) bt Oman 2 (Mohd. Hubais Al Shar 28, 50); India 4 (V.R. Raghunath 12, 28, Dharmvir Singh 39, Rupinderpal Singh 43) bt China 0.