New Delhi: India finished their World Hockey League round two campaign with an all-win record, beating Bangladesh 5-1 at the Dhyan Chand Stadium, here, on Sunday. The margin would have been bigger had not the visitors’ defenders, especially custodian Mohammed Zahid, put up a gallant performance.
India also made the next round in the women’s section when they edged past Russia 1-0 in their last group league match. Rani Rampal scored the match winner, her seventh goal in the tournament. The hosts, however, had to remain content with the second spot behind Japan.
With 15 points from five matches, India men topped the group followed by Ireland, who, too, qualified for the third round with 12 points. Bangladesh finished third with nine points.
India skipper Sardar Singh was named the man of the tournament. While Danish Mujtaba was the player of the day, VR Raghunath, who emerged the joint top scorer with Alan Sothern of Ireland with eight goals, was adjudged the best defender.
Needing a win by a margin of four goals to make the next grade, Bangladesh started on a rousing note as they took the lead in the fifth minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mamapur Rahman.
India restored parity seven minutes later through Danish Mujtaba and Rupinder Pal Singh slammed in a penalty corner four minutes before half time to give the home team the lead.
The second half belonged to India. Never in this session the Indian defence was tested and their forwards attacked relentlessly. Akashdeep made it 3-1 while Malak Singh and Mujtaba pumped in two more in the last 12 minutes.
On Sunday, Ireland defeated China 4-0 and Oman got the better of Fiji 7-3. In the women’s section, Japan beat Malaysia 4-0 and Kazakhstan beat Fiji 4-0.