Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Oct 11 (IANS) India trounced traditional rivals Pakistan 5-1 to make an emphatic start to their title defence of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament here on Sunday.
Ajay Yadav (fifth minute), Sumit Kumar (23rd), Armaan Qureshi (27th), Parvinder Singh (34th) and Santa Singh (45th) scored for the defending champions, who put up a completely dominating show. The onset of the game saw the Indians going immediately on the attack, not wanting to waste any time and in the fifth minute, India scored their first goal Ajay made the most of a clean pass inside the circle, giving no chance to the Pakistani goalkeeper to react.
With the initial goal, India intensified their attack further, keeping the Pakistan defence busy all through. Mid way into the first half, India were awarded their first penalty corner but the opportunity was missed as the Pakistan goalkeeper cleared the danger. Pakistan counter attacked and were given a penalty corner, but they were unable to capitalise as the Indian goalkeeper was alert and in control.
In the counter-attack, vice-captain Dipsan Tirkey passed the ball from the left flank to Sumit who was right in front of the goal box and made no mistake in finding the nets in the 23rd minute. Four minutes later, Harmanpreet Singh hit the ball into the opponents D and Parvinder Singh received it before passing it to Qureshi, who completed the job cleanly, giving India a 3-0 lead. While Pakistan were trying to get some rhythm back, India had another game plan as they ventured to add another goal right before going into the break. It was in the 34th minute when Parvinder through a brilliant field goal took the scorecard to 4-0.
The second half saw a similar game plan by the young Indian side as they continued putting pressure on the opponents. But Pakistan finally opened their account in the 45th minute as Muhammad Dilber scored a field goal. Half way into the session, Pakistan had another chance on the goal through a penalty corner but was yet again denied by the Indian defence.
In the very next minute, India were again on the attack when Harmanpreet from the left flank saw an opportunity with Santa standing right in front of the goal post. Harmanpreet passed it to Santa and the later was quick to pounce on the opportunity and make it 5-1. With five goals in their kitty, India yet again upped the ante as they were seen regularly attacking Pakistan thereafter. In the 68th minute, Pakistan got another penalty corner to their name but was hit off target, giving India the 5-1 triumph. The Harendra Singh-coached India face Britain on Monday.