Oman, 30th August, 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team scripted a stunning 12-2 win over Oman but went down 4-5 against Pakistan at the Men’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier in Salalah, Oman, on Wednesday. In the second game of the night against Pakistan, Maninder Singh (17′, 29′), Gurjot Singh (12′), and Mohammad Raheel (21′) were on target for India. For Pakistan, Ahtisham Aslam (2′, 3′), Zikriya Hayat (5′), Abdul Rehman (13′), and Abdul Rana (26′) scored the goals to help set up their win.
~ Gurjot Singh, Maninder Singh, and Mohammad Raheel were on target for India against Pakistan ~
~ Mohammed Raheel, Pawan Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Jugraj Singh, and Sukhvinder were on target for India against Oman ~
The match started with Pakistan maintaining possession in the early minutes and Ahtisham Aslam (2′) caught India’s defence with a reverse hit to get an early goal. As India tried to get back into the match with a quick move, goalkeeper Ali Raza made a good save and initiated a counter-attack, leading to Ahtisham Aslam (3′) doubling their lead. Maninder Singh tried to hold the ball in the middle, but Zikriya Hayat (5′) intercepted and took a shot from a distance to score another goal for Pakistan. Minutes later Gurjot Singh (12′) made the most of an attacking move from the right flank and scored India’s first goal. Rehman Abdul (13′) found the back of the nets late in the first half and India went into halftime trailing by 1-4.
Needing to cover the deficit, India started on a strong foot in the second half. But Pakistan continued to threaten from the left forcing India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera to remain on his toes. After receiving a long pass, Maninder Singh (17′) struck a reverse hit to score the second goal for India. Minutes later, Mohammad Raheel (21′) combined with Pawan Rajbhar deep in Pakistan’s half and scored the third goal for India, further putting pressure on the opposition. Just when it looked like India might cover the deficit, Pakistan Captain Abdul Rana (26′) struck a reverse hit to extend his side’s lead with just minutes left on the clock. India earned a late challenge in the match and Maninder Singh (29′) made no mistake and converted it with ease. But Pakistan played out the final minute keeping possession and managed to register a close win.
Earlier, in the day, India picked up a 12-2 win over Oman. Mohammed Raheel (2′, 9′, 30′), Pawan Rajbhar (9′, 10′, 21′), and Maninder Singh (16′, 23′, 26′), scored a hat-trick each, while Jugraj Singh (3′, 28′) scored a brace and Sukhvinder (29′) scored one goal to help India pick up the win. Fahad Al Lawati (16′), and Rashad Al Fazari (18′) scored the two goals for Oman.
India began the game against Oman on front foot, with Mohammed Raheel (2′), who was named as the Player of the Match against Bangladesh, showcasing his attacking prowess straightaway. Early goals from him and Jugraj Singh (3′) set up the momentum in India’s favour. Mohammed Raheel (9′), and Pawan Rajbhar (9′, 10′) added three more goals to expose Oman’s defensive unit and took India to a solid 5-0 lead at halftime.
The second half started with Oman’s counter-attack and Fahad Al Lawati (16′) pulled one a back for Oman. But Maninder Singh (16′) scored instantly to regain India’s five-goal lead. In urgent need of goals, Rashad Al Fazari (18′) made the most of another counter-attack from Oman and scored their second goal. But three minutes later, Pawan Rajbhar (21′) put the ball back into the nets once again to extend India’s lead to 7-2. Maninder Singh (23′, 26′) completed his hat-trick with two quick goals, after which, Jugraj Singh (28′), Sukhvinder (29′), and Mohammed Raheel (30′) scored three late goals to help India attain a comfortable 12-2 win.
India will next face off against Malaysia at 1430 hrs IST and Japan at 1930 hrs IST on Thursday, 31st August.
Schedule of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team:
On 31st August 2023, Malaysia vs India at 1430 hrs IST
On 31st August 2023, India vs Japan at 1930 hrs IST
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.