Indian men’s hockey team continued their unbeaten run at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as they defeated Canada 8-0 on Wednesday. Harmanpreet Singh (7′, 56′), and Akashdeep Singh (37’, 60′) scored a brace each, while Amit Rohidas (10′), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (20′), Gurjant Singh (27′), and Mandeep Singh (58′) scored one goal each. With the win, India climbed to the top of the Pool B table with 7 points in 3 games.
The match started with Indian Men’s Hockey Team attacking down the left flank straightaway with Hardik Singh and Akashdeep Singh threatening Canada’s defence. Captain Manpreet Singh slipped an excellent pass to Lalit Kumar Upadhyay inside the striking circle, but the shot from the latter just went wide. Harmanpreet Singh put India in front as he scored the first goal from a Penalty Corner. Minutes later, Amit Rohidas broke past the Canadian defence from the left flank as he struck a powerful hit into the nets to extend India’s lead to 2-0 before the end of the first quarter.
India continued threatening penetrations inside the circle in the early minutes of the second quarter as Canada went deep into their own half to defend their goal. After India received another Penalty Corner, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay scored from a rebound to further extend India’s lead to 3-0. Minutes later, Abhishek tried a reverse hit on target after receiving a long pass. But Canada goalkeeper Ethan McTavish made a clean save. Hardik Singh passed the ball into the circle from the left flank and Gurjant Singh got his stick just in time to push the ball into the nets as India went into halftime with a 4-0 lead.
India gave no respite to Canadian defence, continuing to attack in numbers, as the second half kicked off. Hardik Singh continued to be the danger man inside the striking circle as he continued to press deep inside the opposition’s defence. Akashdeep Singh struck a snap shot from the edge of the circle into the nets as India extended their lead to 5-0. With Captain Manpreet Singh running back and forth the length of the field, Canada were left stranded in midfield and could not stitch too many dangerous attacks of their own inside India’s circle.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, India showcased urgency to get more goals on the board, despite already leading by five goals. Mandeep Singh passed the ball to Jarmanpreet Singh, but Canada were able to clear the danger. A couple of stunning saves were made by Candian defence after Mandeep Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad struck powerful shots on target. A late penalty corner opportunity created by Nilakanta Sharma allowed Harmanpreet Singh to get another goal on the board. With only minutes left on the clock, Mandeep Singh struck a tomahawk into the nets to get his name on the scoresheet, while Akashdeep Singh added another goal in the final seconds, as India went on to win the match 8-0.