Captain Harmanpreet Singh found the net four times as a rampaging India hammered Pakistan 10-2 to record their biggest-ever win over the arch-rivals in a one-sided Pool A match to book a semifinal berth in the men's hockey competition at the Asian Games here on Saturday.
Harmanpreet scored in the 11th, 17th, 33rd and 34th minutes while Varun Kumar (41st and 54th) struck twice. Mandeep Singh (8th), Sumit (30th), Samsher Singh (46th) and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (49th) were the other goal getters.
Pakistan reduced the margin through Muhammad Khan (38th) and Abdul Rana (45th) as India toyed their opponents for large part of their penultimate pool match. This was the 180th match between the two teams and the 8-goal margin win was the biggest-ever in the history of India-Pakistan hockey.
India's earlier biggest victory margin was 7-1 against Pakistan registered in 2017.
Pakistan's 7-1 win in the final of 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi was their biggest win against India.
India, thus, exacted revenge of that humiliating loss 41 years ago though Saturday's match. India collected 12 points from four consecutive wins to stay on top of the pool. India will play Bangladesh on October 2 in their last Pool A match.
India took the lead when Abhishek made a fine turn on the left side into the opponent's striking circle and his pass was deflected into goal in the eighth minute by Mandeep.
Pakistan made some threatening moves and earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute but India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak was upto the task.
India doubled their lead in the 11 minute when they were awarded a penalty stroke and Harmanpreet made no mistake.
Harmanpreet scored his second goal and sixth of the tournament in the 17th minute by converting India's first penalty corner of the match with an accurate drag-flick.
Pakistan attacked mostly from the left side but failed to get a clear shot at the Indian goal.
Pakistan earned their second penalty corner in the 28th minute but failed to get past veteran Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.
Just seconds before half-time, Sumit struck with a fierce reverse hit. The Pakistanis went for a review but lost and trailed 0-4 at the halfway mark.
India made it 5-0 three minutes after the change of ends with Harmanpret converting another penalty stroke after the ball hit a Pakistani player's foot.
Initially, the referee gave a penalty corner but India successfully reviewed for a penalty stroke.
It turned into a rout for Pakistan as India earned three back-to-back penalty corners and Harmanpreet struck his fourth goal of the day with a fine drag flick. Varun, Shamsher and Lalit too joined the party with field goals in the 41st, 46th and 49th minutes.
Varun found the net for the second time in the day when he converted a penalty corner six minutes from the final hooter.
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