The visitor’s tactical game surprised the hosts

India outclassed a lower-ranked Oman 9-1 to record its second successive victory in the Round 2 of the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) at the National Stadium here on Wednesday

The host occupied the top slot in the table with six points from two big wins. India, placed 11th in the world, faced a little resistance than it had expected from the 36th-ranked Oman.

Coached by 1992 Olympic gold medallist German Oliver Kurtz, who once worked with the Indian side, the Oman players moved well, closed the gaps and initiated counterattacks whenever they got an opportunity.

Oman’s tactical game surprised the Indians as they struggled to find rhythm even after grabbing a 4-0 lead. V.R. Raghunath launched a clean drag-flick to get the breakthrough in the third minute and Rupinderpal Singh shot home off a variation to make it 2-0.

Nithin Thimmaiah utilised a Dharamvir Singh pass to hit home in spectacular manner. Thimmaiah put his stick on to the ball even while falling on the pitch due to goalkeeper Abdul Jabar Al Balushi’s tackle.

Dharamvir, who displayed his fine skills upfront, made the most of a Mandeep Singh pass to score the fourth goal in the 20th minute.

Oman troubled the Indians in the last 15 minutes of the first half and reduced the margin through Mohammed Hubais Al Shar’s 35th minute penalty corner conversion.

India reworked its strategy and pushed from the left flank to score three quick goals in the second half. Rupinder and Raghunath found the mark again and Mandeep registered his first international goal within seven minutes of resumption.

However, Oman again got back some hold over the game to dry up the goals for the home team until Thimmaiah completed his brace in the 60th minute. Gurjinder made it 9-1 in the closing stages of the match.

The results:

Ireland 13 (Michael Darling 12, Peter Brown 14, Phelie Maguire 23, Christopher Cargo 31, 55, Eugene Magee 34, Conor Harte 41, 58, Shane O’Donoghue 45, Alan Sothern 60, 64, 66, William Mccabe 63) bt Fiji 0; Bangladesh 3 (Mohd. Mamunur Rahman Chayan 5, Mohd. Moinul Islam 34, Pushkor Khisa 50) bt China 2 (Yubo Na 11, Mi Ji 27); India 9 (V.R. Raghunath 3, 40, Rupinderpal Singh 14, 38, Nithin Thimmaiah 16, 60, Dharamvir Singh 20, Mandeep Singh 42, Gurjinder Singh 65) bt Oman 1 (Mohammed Hubais Al Shar 35).

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