Hockey World Cup 2018: India beats South Africa 5-0

India's Hockey World Cup 2018 campaign is off to a rollicking start. The host romps to a 5-0 win against South Africa at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, with a double from Simranjeet Singh, and goals from Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh.

Mandeep Singh (extreme left, blue jersey) opened the scoring in the 11th minute.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Hello and welcome to the LIVE commentary of India's opening match of Hockey World Cup 2018 against South Africa at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

Man of the Match: Simranjeet Singh

FULL-TIME: INDIA 5-0 SOUTH AFRICA

Final Quarter

60' India challenges the penalty corner awarded to South Africa and wins the challenge after Dayaan Cassiem was seen with a stick check on Hardik Singh.

Hockey fans from all corners of India arrive in Bhubaneswar to show their love for the team

 

55' Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Chinglensana play lovely one-two near the penalty area and the latter tries a chip over the goalkeeper, which is swatted away to safety by custodian Rassie Pieterse.

54' Another routine save from Sreejesh as he puts a boot to parry Julian Hykes' shot at the near post.

52' Sreejesh had to be careful to deflect Dayaan Cassiem's shot after India losses possession in its own half.

50' Mandeep takes on the entire South African defence with a superb dribble on the right side, but too many sticks in the line slows him down.

48' South Africa in danger of being run over by a rampaging Indian forward line.

46' GOAL GLUT! Simranjeet gets his second!

Third Quarter

45' GOAL! LALIT KUMAR UPADHYAY gets in on the act, putting India 4-0 at the end of Q3.

43' GOAL SIMRANJEET!  Easy as you like it! Mandeep goes on a blazing run on the right flank to get to the line and cut back to Simranjeet who takes a touch and calmly slots past the goalkeeper.

42' Penalty corner for South Africa, but Birendra Lakra blocks the strike and Manpreet through himself on the line to prevent a rebound strike.

A jam-packed Kalinga Stadium cheer on the Indian team

 

38' Nicholas Spooner tries to dribble through a hoard of India defenders after receiving a pass from Julian Hykes, but is unable to get close to the goal.

36' South Africa gets possession back but is unable to strings passes together.

34' Sumit wins the third penalty corner for India but he fails to trap the ball from Manpreet's pushout. Akashdeep threads the ball to Harmanpreet, who aims a low shot at the left bottom corner but shoots marginally wide.

32' Hardiik is unable to capitalise on a loose ball in the midfield which ends up with Harmanpreet who brings out the ball out of the danger zone.

"We need better decision making inside the penalty area"

- Harendra Singh, India Head Coach at Half-time

HALF-TIME: INDIA 2-0 SOUTH AFRICA

Legendary forward Dhanraj Pillay cheers on the men in blue

 

Second Quarter

30' India has dominated the possession and circle penetration so far, but South Africa's lack of possession cannot be take lightly as the previous game has seen a 11th ranked Canada almost snatch an equaliser agaisnt World No.3 Belgium.

28' Harendra Singh will definitely angry with that! Harmanpreet gifts away possession to South Africa after he fails to trap a back pass inside his own half.

27' Nilakanta Sharma almost makes it 3-0 but rushes into a shot after he exchanges passes with Hardik and Sumit on the edge of the penalty area. A momentary pause could have resulted in another goal for India.

25' Manpreet regains possession inside the Indian defensive quarter and starts a counter through Lalit and Mandeep. A good move is wasted as the cross from the right is left astray and run out of play.

23' Chiglensana is livid after stick check from South African midfielders makes him lose possession near the half line.

19' Simranjeet wins a penalty corner for India. Harmanpreet stands over the corner but cuts back to Amit Rohidas at second battery. But the defender's low finish at the far post is blocked by a South African stick.

17' Sumit flashes a cross across the goalmouth but Mandeep is unable to reach it in time.

First Quarter

15' India ends the first quarter 2-0 up.

12' GOAL! Akashdeep makes it 2-0! Birendra Lakra, Hardik break the South Africa defence with two passes and Akashdeep controls the ball, and finishes on the run from a tough angle.

 

9' GOAL INDIA! Mandeep Singh gets the first goal! Harmanpreet's drag flick is saved by the outstretched hand of the goalkeeper, but Mandeep pounces on the loose ball to slot it home.

9' The crowd roars as Mandeep asks for a penalty corner as the ball seems to have a touched the defender and third umpire awards the corner.

8' Akashdeep tracks back to the midfield and feeds Simranjeet who threads a pass towards Mandeep in the centre. But the 21-year old is unable to get on the end of it.

6' Lalit Kumar Upadhyay enters the penalty area and dribbles past two defenders but is unable to get the shot on the goal.

5' Simranjeet is unable to bring down the ball from Birendra Lakra in the right flank and the ball bounces away for a South African free hit.

2' Akashdeep makes run towards the near post after Dilpreet cuts in a pass from the right side but Mandeep, who is position to receive the pass, is unable to make the contact.

1' Here we go! India begins the proceedings!

Wishes pour in for the Indian team

 

Match Trivia

  • India is hosting the tournament for the second time in eight years and after finishing eighth in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands will look to better its finish at home.
  • India’s best finish was at Kaula Lumpur, 1975 when it beat arch-rival Pakistan in the final to the lift the World Cup.
  • India managed to avenge its 2012 London Olympics defeat to South Africa, when it beat the Continental champions of Africa 5-2 in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which remains the last encounter between the sides.
  • This is South Africa’s sixth World Cup appearance, while India has qualified for all the previous 13 editions of the tournament and will take to the pitch as the host nation.
  • Head-to-Head: Total Matches played since 1994: 9 | India 6| Draw 4 | South Africa 1