Harmanpreet Singh takes hat-trick as Indian men’s hockey team trash Ghana 11-0

The Indian men’s hockey team got off to a flying start with a dominant 11-0 win over Ghana in their opening match of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Sunday. Drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh (10′, 35′, 53′) starred with a hat-trick, while Jograj Singh (22′, 43′) bagged a brace in the match. Abhishek (2′), Shamsher Singh (14′), Akashdeep Singh (20′), Neelakanta Sharma (38′), Varun Kumar (39′) and Mandeep Singh (48′) scored one goal each to give India a lead. Assisted in the win. Great win in Pool B

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An attacking start to the match saw India take the lead in the second minute of the match through Abhishek, who scored off a rebound off the Ghana goalkeeper’s pad after Harmanpreet took a shot from a penalty corner. Ghana, on the other hand, responded quickly and won a penalty corner in the third minute, but the Indian defense managed to fend off the threat. The Indians continued to pressure the Ghanaian defense and scored two more goals in the first quarter. It was Harmanpreet who scored the second goal from a penalty corner in the 10th minute while Shamsher scored the third goal of the match in the 14th minute. A beautiful move from Abhishek down the right allowed Shamsher to calmly slot the ball home to make the scoreline 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Indians looked more dangerous in the second quarter with the forward line putting pressure on Ghana’s defence. They got a PC in the 19th minute, but Varun Kumar missed converting. A minute later, India extended their lead to 4-0, courtesy of Akash Deep’s flaming tomahawk shot. Young drag flickr Jugraj got on the scoresheet in the 22nd minute with a penalty stroke to make it 5-0. A rare attacking move from Ghana helped them earn back-to-back penalty corners in the 25th minute, but they failed to convert their chances.

Regaining some momentum, Ghana started the second half brilliantly as they promptly won a penalty corner. However, a good video referral from India ensured Ghana were denied a short corner. Minutes later, India won another penalty corner, but Ghana goalkeeper Duisburg Ofi made an acrobatic save to prevent the Indians from scoring. India continued their relentless attack as they scored as many as four goals in the last 10 minutes of the third quarter. After Harmanpreet’s second PC conversion in the 35th minute, Neelakanta (38′) and Varun (39′) also joined the party. Meanwhile, Jograj converted PC to add a ninth goal to the tally at the end of the third quarter.

In the final quarter, India continued their attack with dangerous penetrating runs inside the Ghanaian circle. Experienced forward Manpadip got India’s 10th goal on the scoresheet in the 48th minute. Minutes later, Harmanpreet completed his hat-trick as he successfully converted the PC to extend India’s lead to 11-0. In the last minute, Ghana had a chance to score the first goal, but India avoided the threat. The Indians retained most of the possession in the final minutes of the match and ensured that they kept a clean sheet.

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