Hangzhou, 24th September 2023: Indian Men’s Hockey Team on Sunday started their campaign at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 with a massive 16-0 win over Uzbekistan in Pool A match. Varun Kumar (12′, 36′, 50′, 52′) scored four goals, while Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (7′, 24′, 53′), and Mandeep Singh (18′, 27′, 28′) scored hat-tricks each. Sukhjeet Singh (37′, 42′) scored a brace, while Abhishek (17′), Amit Rohidas (38′), Shamsher Singh (43′), and Sanjay (57′) scored a goal each for India.
~ Varun Kumar, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Shamsher Singh, and Sanjay scored goals for India in the match ~
India began on the front foot straightaway building dangerous moves from the right flank to trouble Uzbekistan’s defence. With Uzbeks defending in numbers, India started searching for gaps to penetrate the circle. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (7′) broke the resistance with a reverse hit into the back of the nets and put India ahead. With long passes from Jarmanpreet Singh, India kept launching counter-attacks, and Varun Kumar (12′) struck the nets from a Penalty Corner to give India a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Mandeep Singh dribbled past Uzbek defenders and passed the ball to Abhishek (17′) in the circle, who spun and struck the ball into the nets to extend India’s lead to 3-0. In the next minute, Mandeep Singh (18′) found himself in a 1v1 situation against Uzbekistan goalkeeper and easily put the ball into the nets to make it 4-0. A quick start from a long corner led to Lalit (24′) scoring his second goal of the match with another reverse hit. Late in the second quarter, Mandeep (27′, 28′) tapped the ball into the nets after a pass from Gurjant Singh and completed his hat-trick a minute later after getting another goal from a Penalty Corner. India reached halftime with a massive 7-0 lead.
Relentless India continued to build pressure at the start of the second half. Varun (36′) struck his second goal of the match from a penalty stroke and India went ahead 8-0 lead. Uzbekistan left Sukhjeet Singh (37′) unmarked, who picked up a pass from Lalit and converted it into another goal to make it 9-0. A minute later, Amit Rohidas (38′) struck a powerful hit into the nets from a penalty corner and India went up 10-0. Abhishek picked up an aerial pass inside the circle and passed it to Sukhjeet (42′) who deflected it into the nets. A minute later, Shamsher Singh (43′) earned his first goal of the match in a similar fashion, making it 12-0 for India by the end of the third quarter.
Uzbekistan sat deep inside their own half at the start of the final quarter to prevent any more goals. India continued their dominance in attack and Varun (50′, 52′) converted back-to-back penalty corners to make it 14-0. The goal-fest continued with Lalit (53′) adding another goal to his name from a close distance and India went 15-0 up. A late Penalty Corner was converted by Sanjay (57′), who scored his first goal of the match, and India won the encounter 16-0.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team will next face off against Singapore on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 at 0630 hrs IST.
Schedule of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team:
On 26th September 2023, India Vs Singapore at 0630 hrs IST
On 28th September 2023, India Vs Japan at 1815 hrs IST
On 30th September 2023, India Vs Pakistan at 1815 hrs IST
On 2nd October 2023, India Vs Bangladesh at 1315 hrs IST
The matches will be broadcast live on Sony Sports Network and live stream on Sony Liv.
HOCKEY INDIA TEAM PARTNERS
Odisha (India’s Best Kept Secret) – Major Team Partner
Sports Authority of India (SAI)
About HOCKEY INDIA
HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the governing body with exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women’s hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, trains players at sub-junior, junior and senior level. The governing body engages in Coaching the coaches with International Standard certification programs, educates and equips technical officials and umpires to find a foothold in international arena, provides world-class infrastructure and International exposure for the players besides regular international competition. Hockey India has also pioneered in bringing top International hockey events to India such as the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2018, FIH Champions Trophy in 2014, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016 and 2021, FIH Hockey World League Final in 2017. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India brought the Indian Men’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world. Hockey India is also dedicated to getting the Indian Women’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world.
Odisha – the Eastern State of India – is known for its love for Hockey and over the years it has evolved to be the Global Hub of Hockey. The State successfully hosted the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, followed by the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha, FIH Olympic Qualifiers Odisha, and FIH Hockey Pro League 2020-21. Odisha has previously hosted the Champions Trophy 2014 and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. Odisha also hosted the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup in 2021.
Kalinga Lancers, the team owned by the State, were the winners in the Hockey India League 2017. Taking a step further towards realising the dream of restoring the glory of Indian Hockey at the global level, the State is sponsoring the Indian Hockey Teams till 2033.
Odisha also hosted the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.