Skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored four goals including a hat-trick as the Indian men's team thrashed Singapore 16-1 to pick up their second consecutive win in men's hockey competition at the 19th Asian Games here on Tuesday.
The drag-flicker converted penalty corners in the 39th, 40th and 42nd minutes to complete his hat-trick after opening his account with a goal in the 24th minute of the Pool A encounter at the GSP Hockey Stadium here.
In the match, Indian Men's Hockey Team forward Abhishek, who was named in the starting XI, also completed his 50 International Caps.
Mandeep Singh (12', 30', 51') also scored a hat-trick while Abhishek (51', 52'), and Varun Kumar (55', 55') scored a brace each. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (16'), Gurjant Singh (22'), Vivek Sagar Prasad (23'), Manpreet Singh (37'), and Shamsher Singh (38'), scored a goal each for India, who led 6-0 at half-time. Zaki Zulkarnain (53') scored the lone consolation for Singapore.
In a testing first quarter, India could penetrate the Singapore defence but failed to find the opening goal. Attacking from left to right to start the match, skipper Harmanpreet made long passes inside the striking circle to test Singapore's defence. India's quick movements with the ball troubled the opposition, but Singapore defended in numbers to keep India at bay.
Singapore goalkeeper Gugan Sandran made a crucial save after Harmanpreet Singh struck a powerful hit on target from a penalty corner. Mandeep Singh (12') finally broke the deadlock after picking a pass from Gurjant Singh and pushing the ball into the nets to make it 1-0 for India at the end of the first quarter.
India doubled their lead straight into the second quarter, with Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (16') striking the ball into the nets, after receiving a sublime pass from Sukhjeet Singh.
The floodgates opened in the second quarter as India hammered three quick goals in three minutes. First, it was Gurjant Singh (22') who tapped the ball into the net after receiving a pass from Mandeep Singh. A minute later, Vivek Sagar Prasad (23') also deflected it into the nets with a soft touch, and then Harmanpreet Singh (24') opened up his goals tally, scoring from a Penalty Corner to make it 5-0.
A fantastic variation in the Penalty Corner allowed Mandeep Singh (30') to get his second goal of the match late in the quarter, and India went into halftime with a 6-0 lead.
India continued to put pressure at the start of the third quarter, playing deep in Singapore's half. Singapore mounted a dangerous attack of their own but were stopped in their tracks by Jarmanpreet Singh.
Manpreet Singh (37') made the most of another variation in the Penalty Corner rout, as he deflected the ball into the nets to make it 7-0 for India. A minute later, Shamsher Singh (38') made a powerful strike to extend India's lead to 8-0. Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (39', 40', 42') showcased his supreme form with the flicks as he converted three consecutive Penalty Corners to make it 11-0 for India to end the third quarter.
Singapore started pushing deep in their own half to prevent India from creating any more attacks in the final quarter. Dribbling past the Singaporean defence, Mandeep Singh (51') pushed the ball into the nets to complete his hat-trick and made it 12-0 for India.
Abhishek (51', 52') scored twice in two minutes, making the most of errors from Singapore defenders. A surprise counter-attack from Singapore led to Zaki Zulkarnain (53') scoring a goal for his team. Varun Kumar (55', 55') added his name to the scoresheet, scoring twice from Penalty Corners as India won the match 16-1.