London, June 15: India registered a commanding win over Scotland by 4-1 in their opening match here at the Hero Hockey World League Semi Final on Thursday. Ramandeep Singh scored 2 goals, while Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh scored 1-1 goals each which helped India to clinch their first win in the Pool B encounter.
However, the first quarter belonged to the underdogs Scotland who displayed good attacking skills to put India on the backfoot. They held on to the ball possession for a greater part of the first quarter keeping the Indians in the hunt. But, India held their nerve to come back from a 0-1 deficit to beat a determined Scotland by 4-1. Scotland Skipper Chris Grassick scored the first goal of a match.
Both teams slowed down the pace just a little bit in the second quarter. India played cautiously, rotating the ball only to make well-calculated entries into the striking circle. Akashdeep Singh’s shot on goal in the 25th minute to end the second quarter with advantage to Scotland.
Playing an attacking game, India’s Ramandeep Singh struck a cracker of a goal with a reverse hit from the top of the circle, beating defender Willie Marshall to equalise. He struck again in the 34th minute when forward SV Sunil assisted from the baseline. A perfect deflection by Ramandeep earned India a much-needed 2-1 lead.
In the 42nd minute, a clever-thinking Sunil’s appealed for video referral that saw India win their first PC of the match. India’s young drag flick sensation Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake with a brilliant flick, picking up the ball from injector Sardar Singh, to send the ball like a bolt to the top corner of the post. At the end of the third quarter, India enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 lead.
India did well in the final quarter to defend their lead, denying any opportunity for the Scottish players to score their second goal of the match. India’s young goalkeeper Akash Chikte too held his nerve to ensure India walked away with a 4-1 win. India will play their next Pool B match on June 17 against Canada.