London, June 19: Indian Hockey team crushed archrival Pakistan by 7-1 to register their third consecutive victory and seal a place in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League Semi-Final on Sunday. India hockey team wore black armbands during its match against Pakistan at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final to condole the deaths of martyrs in the recent attacks on the Indian army.
Notably, Indian players were in complete control against Pakistan at the end of the first half. The Indian efficiency was remarkable with 18 circle penetrations and 15 shots to score the seven goals. Pakistan hit the frame of the goal in the opening period before Harmanpreet Singh fired home just ahead of the quarter-time break with a double from Talwinder Singh taking the score to 3-0 at half time.
Harmanpreet later made it 4-0 early in the third quarter before Akashdeep Singh and Pardeep Mor chipped in. Shortly after Pakistan’s Muhammad Umar Bhutta netted a consolation goal, India completed the match scoring through Akashdeep Singh, who claimed his second of the match.
Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh (13th minute, 33rd), Talwinder Singh (21st, 24th), Akashdeep Singh (47th, 59th) and Pradeep Mor (49th) scored for India at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, while Pakistan's consolation goal came from the stick of Muhammad Umar Bhutta (57th).
On the other side, Pakistan finished the day at the bottom of the Pool B table and in danger of missing out on the competition quarter-finals. India defeated Pakistan in the 2016 Sultan Azlan Cup and twice in the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Malaysia. India will next play The Netherlands on Tuesday, while Pakistan will face Scotland today.
The top four finishers in London will qualify for the eight-nation Odisha Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, India, although there is a small caveat to this. If India, the host nation of the Final, do not finish in the top four then only the top three teams in London will qualify. They will be joined by the top three finishers from the Semi-Final competition in Johannesburg, South Africa, plus the highest ranked fourth place finisher from the two Semi-Final events.
When it comes to qualification for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, there are five automatic berths available here in London, although this will increase depending on the outcomes of the upcoming Continental Championships, which are also World Cup qualification events.