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India vs South Africa, Hockey World Cup 2018 Highlights - As It Happened | November 29, 2018, 9:14 AM IST
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Follow all the live action as India take on South Africa in their first match of the Hockey World Cup.

PREVIEW: India’s hockey record in the Olympics makes for wonderful reading, but the same cannot be said of their showings at the Hockey World Cup. Their only time atop the podium at the World Cup came in 1975 when Ajit Pal Singh and his men won a hard-fought final against arch-rivals Pakistan. Given that the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar is hosting the 2018 Hockey World Cup, Indian fans will at least be quietly optimistic about their chances of a podium finish.
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Nov 28, 2018 8:29 pm (IST)

That's the end of the game and what a way to start the tournament. India have absolutely hammered South Africa 5-0 in their opening Hockey World Cup game. The real test now will be Belgium. The winner of that game could potentially top the group. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:20 pm (IST)

There are seven minutes left and the game is a formality at this point. South Africa have given up and India are simply running down the clock. A goal from either side won't matter now. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:15 pm (IST)

If the third quarter saw India put in a slightly meek performance, the same cannot be said about the fourth quarter. Despite being in command of the game the Indians have played with intent and now win another penalty corner that comes to nothing. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:12 pm (IST)

India win a penalty corner right in the beginning of the final quarter that is converted after a bit of chaos by Simranjeet! 5-0 up now and this is an absolute mauling at this stage. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:08 pm (IST)

GOAL! The end of the penultimate quarter brings a goal from Lalit Upadhyaya and that is certainly the end of the South African resistance. Lalit's clever deflection foxes the goalkeeper and the crowd erupt. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:05 pm (IST)

GOAL! India finally get a breather from the relentless South African pressure and they hit back. Simranjeet Singh is provided with a tap-in chance that he does not miss. That is surely the end of the game. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:04 pm (IST)

South Africa win a penalty corner and cause enough havoc in the aftermath to get a corner. Sreejesh in goal is being put under a lot of pressure. India need to keep the ball more. 

Nov 28, 2018 8:02 pm (IST)

South Africa finally beginning to put some pressure on India. The hosts have developed a bit of a habit of conceding late goals lately; the fact that the opposition have finally started to attack isn't a good sign. 

Nov 28, 2018 7:58 pm (IST)

Quite a bit of back and forth now but no clear cut chances being created by either side. Not that India will mind too much at this stage but a third goal would all but ensure an opening win. 

Nov 28, 2018 7:54 pm (IST)

The second half hasn't seen much in the way of action but India do win a penalty corner that eventually comes to nothing. Wasted opportunity to essentially put the game to bed. 

Nov 28, 2018 7:40 pm (IST)

That's the end of the second quarter and also the first half, India lead 2-0 at the moment. Complete domination from the home side in the first quarter but South Africa have certainly grown in the game! Interesting second half coming up

Nov 28, 2018 7:33 pm (IST)

India have allowed South Africa to grow in the game after that blazing start, not that Sreejesh has been troubled much but the pressing that we saw from India in the first quarter seems to have eased out a bit..

Nov 28, 2018 7:29 pm (IST)

The second quarter begins here, South Africa certainly looking a bit more assured at the moment in the second quarter. 

Nov 28, 2018 7:22 pm (IST)

That's the end of the first quarter then, sensational hockey from India here and they rush into a 2-0 lead by the end of the first quarter here!

Nov 28, 2018 7:19 pm (IST)

GOAL! Akashdeep doubles India's lead here and the stadium has absolutely erupted, a proper striker's finish here as he gets on the ball from Mandeep and deposits it into the bottom corner. India lead 2-0 with three minutes to go in first quarter.

Nov 28, 2018 7:14 pm (IST)

GOAL! Mandeep asking for a penalty corner, India go for a referal and it goes their way. First penalty corner to India and Akashdeep pushes the ball in Harmanpreet's shot is saved by Mandeep on the rebound gets the ball inside! India take the early lead here!

Nov 28, 2018 7:10 pm (IST)

Lalit with a superb run inside the box after Surendra steals the ball but the forward cannot finish as the South African keeper does well to go down.

Nov 28, 2018 7:07 pm (IST)

Some early pressure from India here,they have had most of the ball till now. Four minutes gone in the first quarter and it is still 0-0. South Africa seem to be struggling with some early nerves here

Nov 28, 2018 7:03 pm (IST)

The national anthems are done here, we are just minutes away from live action now. Some patriotic songs blaring in the loudspeakers! We are all set for live hockey then, the stadium is absolutely packed!

Nov 28, 2018 6:56 pm (IST)

Both the teams are on the field, and India are greeted to a huge round of applause. The flags are waving and the crowd is in huge numbers here! We are all set for the national anthems here!

Nov 28, 2018 6:50 pm (IST)
Nov 28, 2018 6:50 pm (IST)

We are less than 10 minutes away from live action here, do send us your predictions at News18 Sports on Facebook and Twitter!

Nov 28, 2018 6:47 pm (IST)

India hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay has come out in support of former captain and midfielder Sardar Singh, saying he could have been a vital cog for India in the upcoming Hockey World Cup.
The 32-year-old midfielder recently announced his retirement and later blamed former coach Sjoerd Marijne and high performance director David John for prompting him to make the decision.
“If Dhanraj can play an Olympics at 37, why can’t Sardar play a World Cup at 32,” said Pillay, talking to News18 Sports. “I feel his experience in the midfield could have been crucial. Now you just have to play four quarters of 15 minutes each. He could have easily played 8-9 minutes each quarter.
"He was also among the fittest members in the team. It’s also sad to see Rupinderpal Singh and SV Sunil missing, but you can’t do anything with injuries. These players could have played an important role for us, but now we need to look forward to whatever players we have. We need to give them our full backing,” added Pillay.

Nov 28, 2018 6:42 pm (IST)

With world ranked fifth India at the other end in their first match, South Africa have a tough task at hand but Hopkins is looking at the positives.
"Every game at the World Cup is a big match. You try to start the tournament as well as you can. It's exciting that we are playing our first match against the host nation. We will go into the game fairly confident. We feel we have the squad, skill set and tactics to play really good hockey and get results from the match," he said.
"I think the pressure is on both sides. Being the host nation there is more pressure on India than us. We will just go out there and play the brand of hockey that is successful for us."

Nov 28, 2018 6:39 pm (IST)
Nov 28, 2018 6:37 pm (IST)

Not amongst the favourites to lift the trophy, South Africa players have paid from their own pockets to just be a part of the men's hockey World Cup beginning here on Wednesday.
World number 15 South Africa coach Mark Hopkins said the biggest hurdle for the growth of the game in South Africa is "funding".
"The more hockey South Africa plays the better it is. But our challenge is to get the funding in place to allow us to compete in as many Test matches we possibly can," Hopkins told PTI on the eve of his side's opener against hosts India.
"We are coming into the World Cup with players needing to pay from their own pocket. They paid to be part of the camps. Our challenge is to get the funding in place. We are lucky to have a few sponsors but the sponsorships we have don't really cover the budget of the World Cup

Nov 28, 2018 6:30 pm (IST)

Meanwhile, first game of the day is over and it was an absolute thriller. Belgium edging out Canada by two goals to one. The crowd is already quite full and the India game should be an absolute thriller

Nov 28, 2018 6:26 pm (IST)

Manpreet Singh led-side is ranked fifth in the world, have been among the most improved sides in the recent years and believe that they can go the distance. But the skipper has identified a few areas that team needs to work on, to meet their own expectations.
"Conversion through penalty corners has to be the area that we need to work on," Manpreet Singh told News18 Sports. 
"Asian Champions Trophy was one occasion where we really did well. Overall Harmanpreet Singh did really well in that area. We have three drag-flickers at the moment who are putting in a lot of effort in training. We have to see how it goes finally. I think you'll see good variations from our drag-flickers this time around."

Nov 28, 2018 6:20 pm (IST)

Indian hockey team coach Harendra Singh has come up with innovative methods of keeping his squad engaged in the past, be it to ensure that they follow what he says or to prepare them for whatever they might encounter in a match situation.
After forcing the players who turned up late to practice sessions during the Asian Games earlier this year to wear a rooster hat, Singh has now started the practice of making his squad train while a huge loudspeaker blares in their ears.

Nov 28, 2018 6:14 pm (IST)

Hello everyone and welcome to our live blog for India's opening World Cup match, where they will take on South Africa in what promises to be a sensational encounter. India will be looking to get their campaign off with a victory, against World no.16 side South Africa.

India vs South Africa, Hockey World Cup 2018 Highlights - As It Happened
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
However, the Indian men’s hockey team has struggled at the tournament since lifting the trophy 43 years ago and have since then failed to even make the semi-finals of the tournament. In the last 10 editions since its maiden triumph in 1975, India’s best performance was a fifth-place finish at the 1992 edition in Mumbai.
Now ranked fifth in the world, Indians would be eager to recreate the magic by at least reaching the semi-finals. But the road ahead won’t be easy. Besides having to go up against powerhouses like two-time and defending champions Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Olympic champions Argentina and a resurgent Belgium, India will fight both home fan expectations and history.

The last time India played a World Cup at home, in 2010 in New Delhi they finished a lowly eighth and going by records, the host nation has never fared well in the tournament. Coach Harendra Singh guided the junior Indian team to the World Cup title in Lucknow two years ago and will be hopeful of achieving something similar this time around. His credentials were questions after India failed to defend their Asian Games title in Jakarta earlier this year and another failure in this tournament will see his job under the scanner once again.

The Indian team for the World Cup is a mixture of youth and experience with seven of the 18 featuring in the last World Cup. The squad also has youthful exuberance in 19-year-old striker Dilpreet Singh and debutant Hardik Singh. But two notable absentees from the squad are dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who has been dropped and striker SV Sunil, who is unfit.


Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishna Bahadur Pathak.

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas.

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (capt), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (vice-capt), Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Sumit.

Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Simranjeet Singh.
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