India outclass Pakistan 7-4 to book semifinal berth
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Star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and Shivendra Singh scored a double each as India thrashed Pakistan 7-4 in a must-win Pool A match to storm into the semifinals of the men's hockey event in the Commonwealth Games at a packed Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Sunday.
Under pressure to perform or face the ignominy of ouster from the medal round, India stood up and delivered when it mattered most. They did not disappoint the capacity crowd in the high-voltage encounter and completely dominated Pakistan in the first 30 minutes of the match by pumping in as many as four goals.
Drag-flicker Sandeep (3rd, 11th minute) was the star performer for the hosts converting two penalty corners and then setting up another for Shivendra (19th, 59th).
Unlike other days, Sandeep was exemplary in defence too, coming to India's rescue on numerous occasions.
Sarwanjit Singh (20th), Danish Mujataba (41st) and Dharamvir Singh (45th) too chipped in with a goal each in the high-scoring electrifying encounter.
For Pakistan, Muhammad Imran scored from a penalty stroke while Muhammad Rizwan (29th) and Shakeel Abbasi (68th) reduced the margin through field strikes. Muhammad Irfan (58th) too registered his name in the scoresheet, scoring from a penalty corner.
India will now take on Pool B toppers England in the semifinals on Tuesday while world champions Australia will face New Zealand in the other last-four match.
Pakistan, meanwhile, will face South Africa for the fifth-sixth classification match on Tuesday.
Against Pakistan today, India displayed a fast-paced hockey from the onset, with their mid-field and forward line combining well to set up the goals.
Indian completely dominated the game and never gave a slightest of chance to Pakistan to recover.
Pakistan had their share of chances but India's juggernaut proved too much for the Zeeshan Ashraf-led side.
India's domination can be gauged from the fact that they earned 11 penalty corners.
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