Bhubaneswar: India drubbed Russia 10-0 in their opening game of the FIH Men’s Series Finals here on Thursday while in another game of Pool A Poland beat Uzbekistan 4-0.
In a Pool B match, favourites India gave their 2020 Olympics qualification chances a boost by scoring a ‘perfect 10’ against the Russians, who stood no chance. The home team scored through Nilkanta Sharma (13th minute), Simranjeet Singh (19th), Amit Rohidas (20th), Varun Kumar (33rd), Harmanpreet Singh (32nd, 48th minutes), Gursahibjit Singh (38th), Akashdeep Singh (41st, 55th) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (45th)
In another duel, Uzbekistan, the lowest ranked team of the tournament (FIH World Rankings:43), struggled as Poland took the lead in the 5th minute with a drag-flick from captain Pawel Bratkowski following a penalty corner. Uzbekistan lost Karimov Ruslan through injury a few seconds later.
The European side dominated the second quarter with Mateusz Hulboj scoring the second goal for his team following a penalty corner. Pawel Bratkowski added another goal in the second half. Mateusz Hulboj, who scored with an amazing shot from a distance, millimetres under the crossbar, got the fourth goal for his side.
Poland could not have expected a better start ahead of their match against hosts India tomorrow.
Poland’s Maciej Janiszewski: “We thought it would be a very difficult game because of the weather conditions and the first game is of course always tough. So, it’s a good result for us. I expect a very difficult match against India tomorrow, with all their fans behind them.”
Uzbekistan’s Stand-In Manager Rinat Ahmadulin said: “We had a really good preparation and we tried to win but unfortunately we lost. Poland is also a good team. Now we will work on our mistakes and tomorrow we will try to show a good game against Russia.”