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India rout Poland 7-0 in Champs Challenge hockey
Tushar Khandekar and Yuvraj Walmiki scored two goals each for India.
Johannesburg: Tushar Khandekar and Yuvraj Walmiki scored two goals each as India spanked Poland 7-0 to enhance their chances of finishing on top of group A in the Champions Challenge hockey tournament, here on Tuesday.
India will take on Pool B's fourth-placed Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
India and Belgium both finished with seven points after Belgium prevailed 2-1 over hosts South Africa, but Tuesday's comprehensive win gave India a much superior goal difference that clinched the top spot in Pool A.
The other quarterfinals will see Pan-American champions Argentina play Poland while Belgium are pitted against Canada and South Africa will meet Japan.
India enjoyed complete domination against Poland, who have lost all their three preliminary league matches with huge margins.
To start with, India had a narrow shave in the 11th minute when Polish captain Dariusz Rachwalski's deflection on a penalty corner went just wide with he defenders beaten.
Walmiki opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he deflected Manjeet Kulu's long diagonal shot past the goalkeeper.
Shivendra Singh then capitalised on a Danish Mujtaba pass for India's second goal in the 23th minute.
At the other end, Poland were unlucky not to have scored two minutes later when Tomasz Gorny's firm shot hit the post after beating the goalkeeper.
Walmiki's opportunistic 33rd-minute strike produced his second goal to give India a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Manpreet Singh capitalised on SV Sunil's pass in the 44th minute to continue the scoring spree in the second session.
Birender Lakra slammed in a reverse drive in the 53rd minute before Khandekar scored a brace in the 55th and 70th minutes.
Earlier, in Pool B action, Pedro Ibarra and Agustin Alejandro Mazzilli scored two goals each as Pan-American champions Argentina bounced back from a half-time deficit to outplay Malaysia 5-2 and top the group.
Argentina finished with seven points through two wins and a draw.
Japan pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory over Canada to take the second spot in the four-team group, with five points from a victory and two drawn matches.
Canada had three points from the win over Malaysia, who just secured a single point from the draw against Japan.
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