New Delhi: Only a handful of fans gathered at the Dhyan Chand Stadium on the opening day of the World Hockey League round two on Monday. Many of them were seen leaving the venue midway through the India-Fiji tie. They, it seemed, lost interest because of the one-sided nature of the contest.
The spectators, though, can hardly be blamed for deserting the stadium early. Even the Indian team hardly celebrated their 16-0 victory after leading by seven goals at the breather. So weak was the opposition that it provided no opportunity to chief coach Michael Nobbs to judge the ability of the newly inducted players in the squad.
Fiji, ranked 70, have less than 100 senior level players and only a handful of proper hockey facilities. Each member of the team reportedly paid from their pockets to help the federation.
India opened the scoring in the first minute through a penalty corner conversion by Raghunath and scored at will thereafter. While Raghunath and Danish Mujtaba struck thrice each, Rupinderpal Singh (2), Gurjinder Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, Kothajit Singh, Manpreet Singh, Malik Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Dharamvir Singh and Akashdeep Singh were the other marksmen.