A hat-trick by teenager Dilpreet Singh helped defending champions India begin their campaign at the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat with a thumping 11-0 win against hosts Oman on Thursday.
India, looking to get back to top form ahead of the World Cup, began rather timidly in the contest as both sides played out a goalless first quarter. But that was the lull before the storm as the cliché goes, because in the next 45 minutes, India peppered the Oman goal with 28 shots on goal versus none in return from Oman.
Young Dilpreet, like the rest of the team, did not begin the evening too well as he missed three clear cut chances to get on the scoresheet, before making up for that amply with a man-of-the-match performance.
The procession of goals began in the 17th minute with Lalit Upadhyay, before Harmanpreet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Dilpreet Singh and Chinglensana Singh all found the target with relative ease to register a comfortable win.
FT| The Indian Men's Hockey Team showcase an inspiring performance to pick up a comfortable victory against hosts Oman in their opening game of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 on 18th October 2018. #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 #INDvOMA pic.twitter.com/XCmLGlLezm— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 18, 2018
Of the eleven goals scored on the night, five came from eight penalty corners that were created by the forwards.
India may have begun the game slowly, but once they got going minnows Oman were left trying to save face. India dominated the contest with 80 percent possession to boast off.
Harendra Singh’s men will though have a stiffer test on Saturday when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their second game of the tournament.