Bhubaneswar: India secured a direct entry to quarterfinals after defeating Canada 5-1 in their final Pool C match of Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
By the virtue of this win, India finished on top of Pool C with seven points.
After a cautious start, India scored the opener in the 12th minute from Penalty Corner with Harmanpreet Singh hitting the plank.
But Canada hit back with an equaliser in the 39th minute to give India the jitters. India committed a few errors while pushing for more goals. In fact, the equaliser was a result of one such mistake, a misdirected pass from Simranjeet Singh.
The equaliser proved the catalyst which was missing from India’s play. Two goals in two minutes as Chinglensana Kangujam’s 46th thunderstrike beat the goalie.
In the next minute, Lalit Upadhyay produced a crafty play to steal the ball before finishing with a cracking strike. Both the strikes were brilliant field goals, showcasing India’s creative play.
In the 51st minute, local lad Amit Rohidas scored from PC to make it 4-1. Then Sumit found his second with a cool tap-in in the 57th minute to complete the rout.
With this win, India has progressed to the quarterly straight. Canada and Belgium teams can only progress to the quarter if they win in another intermediate round.