India rout Pak 7-4, enter semis
New Delhi, October 10
Team India could not have given a better gift to the Congress and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi than a 7-4 drubbing to its arch rival and neighbour Pakistan for a berth in the semi-finals of the hockey competition of the 2010 Commonwealth Games here this evening.
The win gives India its maiden entry in the medal round of the hockey competition of the Games.
The hero of the day was undoubtedly Sandeep Singh, who not only scored first two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game by converting two of four penalty corners earned till then but also played the brain behind the next three goals.
It was his mighty swipe that put forward Shivendra Singh in possession inside the Pakistani striking circle to give a charged audience yet another chance to roar with the home team's third goal. And before the game was 19 minutes old, Sandeep engineered yet another goal for the team that needed a win desperately to make the semi-finals. His flick from the sixth penalty corner got deflected from a defender's stick to unmarked Sarvanjit Singh who made full use of the opportunity to put India 4-0 ahead.
Other than Sandeep, Sardara Singh, as usual, played a superb game. Danish Mujtaba, Rajpal, Dharamvir, Shivendra Singh, too sparkled in a game where every member of the home team gave his best.
Green shirts did try to stage a come back in the game by getting two goals in quick succession before the teams broke for the lemon break. It was Muhammad Imran who struck the first goal for them. He scored from a penalty stroke after Vikram Pillay had taken the shot of Rehan Butt on his foot on the goal line. Rehan was attempting to connect a rebound after Muhammad Imran had taken a powerful flick at Indian goal from the second penalty corner of his team.
Four minutes later in the 30th minute Rizwan latched on a free hit to beat Chhetri in Indian goal to make the score 2-4 for Pakistan.
Four minutes in to the final session, it was Danish Mujtaba who pounced on a rebound from strong flick by Sandeep Singh from the 10th penalty corner of the home team. Seven minutes later, it was Shivendra Singh who worked his way down the goal line from the left flank and sent a back pass for Dharamvir to notch up India's sixth goal and his fourth of the tournament.
Indians conceded the third goal from the sixth penalty corner. A series of exchanges saw Rehan Butt finally slamming the ball home.
India retaliated with Rajpal working out an excellent move for Shivendra Singh to finish it off with India's seventh goal.