Drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh scored four goals to help India demolish South Africa 10-2 and come back in style from their last defeat in FIH Pro League men’s hockey at Potchefstroom on Sunday. After an even first quarter, in which the score was 1-1, India completely dominated the remaining three periods, scoring nine goals against the hapless South Africans to secure their third win in four games. The bronze medalist of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, India, who was stunned by lower France on Saturday, won by the same margin in their first leg against South Africa.
Harmanpreet scored in the 36th, 52nd, 60th and 60th minutes while Shilananda Lakra (27th and 48th minutes) braced. Surender Kumar (15th), Mandeep Singh (28th), Sumit (45th) and Shamsher Singh (56th) were the other goalscorers for India.
Daniel Bell (12th) and Connor Beauchamp (53rd) scored for South Africa.
India scored a whopping five goals in the fourth quarter, with Harmanpreet contributing two.
India thus ended their South African leg of the FIH Pro League on a high note a day after the 2-5 defeat to France.
They will face Spain in their next match in Bhubaneswar.
India dominated the fast-paced first quarter with plenty of penetration into the opposition, but it was South Africa who scored first in the 12th minute, with Daniel Bell converting the home side’s second penalty corner.
India, which also got two penalty corners in the first quarter, equalized three minutes later when Surender Kumar flew into the roof of the South African net after a fine field effort.
The side led by Manpreet Singh scored two quick goals in under two minutes in the second quarter via the battles of Shilanand Lakra and Mandeep Singh to go into halftime with a 3-1 lead.
Krishna Bahadur Pathak, who started on the Indian goal instead of veteran PR Sreejesh, made a fine save and denied South Africa the third penalty corner of the match in the 24th minute.
Pathak again did well in the opening minutes of the third quarter, saving a penalty shot from Jethro Eustice.
After a few minutes of domination by South Africa, India roared back with a series of dangerous attacks, with Harmanpreet scoring from the visiting team’s third penalty corner in the 36th minute.
Sumit then shot into a field goal via a reverse move to make it 5-1 in the 45th minute and break South Africa’s back.
India showed no mercy on a demoralized South Africa as they scored five more goals in the last quarter.
South Africa pulled one back in the 53rd minute via Connor Beauchamp.
But the Indians weren’t done yet as Shamsher Singh struck in the 53rd minute with a field goal before Harmanpreet completed his hat-trick and then scored his fourth goal when the visitors inflicted a painful defeat on the hosts.
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