The highest and lowest ranked sides in the competition clashed here on Thursday night and India expectedly walked away with the honours, thrashing China 7-2 to kickstart its Asian Champions Trophy campaign on a winning note.
India stamped its authority, dominating both possession and proceedings and barely allowing the Chinese space to reach the Indian third. The goalspree started in the fifth minute. India did not take its foot off the pedal, going 3-0 up by the end of first quarter.
HIGHLIGHTS | India vs China Asian Champions Trophy 2023
With the entire team pressing forward, China scrambled to defend.
It did try to fight back, getting two goals in the 2nd quarter — the first an easy one with an absent defence. Despite India dropping pace a bit, China could not push past the Indian midfield. The humidity did not make things any easier for China, and while the host too struggled it had done enough get points in the bag.
Chinese goalkeeper Caiyu Wang brought off some impressive saves to deny India more goals in the final 15 minutes.
If there still remains some concern for the Indian side, it would be the over-reliance on penalty corners to get the goals. India earned ten and converted six — Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar adding two each — while Sukhjeet Singh and Mandeep Singh got in deflections.
India’s only field goal came in the 16th minute when Akashdeep Singh struck in from the left. It might not have mattered in the opening game but against stronger opponents, the team would do well to have more scoring options.
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