~ Maninder Singh, Pawan Rajbhar, Mohammed Raheel, Sukhvinder, Gurjot Singh, Jugraj Singh were on target for India against Japan ~
~ Gurjot Singh, Maninder Singh, and Mohammed Raheel scored for India against Malaysia ~
Oman, 31st August, 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team scripted stunning 7-5 and 35-1 wins over Malaysia, and Japan respectively at the Men’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier in Salalah, Oman, on Thursday. In the second game of the night against Japan, Maninder Singh (1′, 3′ 5, 6′, 9′, 15′, 20′, 24′, 25′, 29′), Mohammed Raheel (3′, 4′, 11′, 12′, 17′, 26, 26′), Pawan Rajbhar (2′, 6′, 10′, 13′, 23′), Gurjot Singh (12′, 20′, 21′, 27′, 30′), Sukhvinder (4′, 8′, 16′, 22′), Captain Mandeep Mor (18′, 23′, 29′), and Jugraj Singh (15′) were on target for India. For Japan, Masataka Kobori (29′) scored the sole goal in the match.
It was a fiery start from India as seven goals were struck by the side led by Mandeep Mor within five minutes. Maninder Singh (1′, 3′, 5′), Pawan Rajbhar (2′), Mohammed Raheel (3′, 4′), and Sukhvinder (4′) found the back of the nets to help India take a 7-0 lead early on. The goalfest continued with Maninder Singh (6′) and Pawan Rajbhar (6′) scored in the next minute to add to more goals for India, while Sukhvinder (8′) also scored his second goal of the match to help his side take a 10-0 lead. Japan’s defence was stunned early on and found no answer to Indian attackers with Maninder Singh (9′) adding another goal for India, along with Pawan Rajbhar (10′). Mohammed Raheel (11′, 12′) found the nets twice while Gurjot Singh (12′) added his name to the scoresheet as well. Pawan Rajbhar (13′) and Maninder Singh (15′) scored late goals, while Jugraj Singh (15′) added his name to the scoresheet as well to help India take a 18-0 lead in the first half.
India continued to dominate in the second half with Sukhvinder (16′), and Mohammed Raheel (17′) adding early goals to consolidate India’s lead to 20-0. India Captain Mandeep Mor (18′) joined in on the action and added a goal for his side as Japan struggled to find ways to put a halt to India’s relentless attacks. Maninder Singh (20′) and Gurjot Singh (20′, 21′) scored three quick goals, while Sukhvinder (22′) added another one in the next minute to further extend India’s lead to 25-0. A minute later, Pawan Rajbhar (23′) and Mandeep Mor (23′) added a couple of more goals, after which Maninder Singh (24′, 25′) scored twice to put more pressure on Japan. Mohammed Raheel scored twice (26′, 26′), and Gurjot Singh (27′) added another, after which Maninder Singh (29′) and Mandeep Mor (29′) added two late goals. Japan’s Captain Masataka Kobori (29′) added a late goal for his side but it was too late for a return, and with Gurjot Singh (30′) scoring the final goal of the night, India won the match 35-1.
Earlier in the day, India competed against Malaysia in a thrilling affair that went right down to the wire. With Gurjot Singh (7′, 11′, 17′, 29′ 30′) scoring five goals, and Maninder Singh (12′), and Mohammed Raheel (21′) getting a goal each, India won 7-5. Malaysia saw goals from Arif Ishak (6′), Captain Ismail Abu (7′), Muhamad Din (8′), Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin (26′), and Syarman Mat (30+’).
The match started on a cagey note with both the teams playing cautiously in the early minutes of the match. The hold was broken by Arif Ishak (6′), and Ismail Abu (7′) scoring back-to-back goals for Malaysia, Immediately afterwards, Gurjot Singh (7′) pulled one goal back for India. Muhamad Din (8′) scored the goal in the next minute, but Gurjot Singh (11′), and Maninder Singh (12′) scored late and the match went into halftime with the scores levelled at 3-3.
In the second half, Gurjot Singh (17′) found the back of the nets to put India with a powerful stroke in the lead for the first time in the match. Malaysia found themselves on the backfoot and Mohammed Raheel (21′) made the most of the troubled defence, scoring another goal for India. Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin (26′) managed to pull a goal back for Malaysia, but quick goals from Gurjot Singh (29′, 30′) decided the fate of the match. Syarman Mat (30+’) scored a goal in the injury time, but it was not enough to change the result and India won 7-5.
With two big wins on the day, India managed to finish in the second position in the Elite pool table with 12 points, and earned a direct qualification for the Semi-Finals. India will next play in the second Semi-Final match of the tournament on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023 at 1330 hrs IST.
The Men’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier will be live-streamed on
By Hockey India