The Indian men's hockey team has continued its excellent run of form at the ongoing 2018 Asian Games, after recording its biggest ever win by thrashing Hong Kong China 26-0 in a Pool B match.
In the process, India has also broken 86 year-old record which they set against USA beating them with a 24-1 margin at the 1932 Olympics. While, India's feat remains second best, New Zealand holds the record for the biggest win in international hockey when they beat Samoa 36-1 in 1994.
The gulf between the two sides was quite contrasting as India dominated proceedings right from the beginning pushing their opponents on the back foot. Hongkong China seemed to be all over the place as they conceded four goals in the first five minutes of the match. India continued to stamp their authority as they ended the first quarter with a comprehensive six-goal lead and made it 14-0 after adding eight in the second quarter.
Such was India's dominance, that they took their goalkeeper off the field for the last seven minutes of the match. The opposition failed to challenge the Indian skipper P.R. Sreejesh between the posts, as the play was restricted in the Hongkong half for major portions of the game. Before the second half, the Indian skipper made way for Krishan Bahadur Pathak, who was handed the goalkeeping duties.
It was always going to an unbalanced affair between India and Hong Kong China, who are placed 5th and 45th respectively in the World Hockey rankings. The game saw 14 goal-scorers with four players claiming hattricks and talismanic striker Harmanpreet notched four goals to his name.
The Indian hockey contingent has been enjoying a dream run at the Asian Games. In its previous match, the men's team trounced the hosts Indonesia 17-0. While the women's team have registered comprehensive scorelines of 8-0 and 21-0 against Indonesia and Kazakhstan respectively.
The first three days of Asian Games 2018 has been successful for India, with a total of 10 medals won. Three of them have been gold, with further three silvers and four bronze. At least four more bronze is confirmed for India in Wushu after great showing by both in men's and women's department.
(With PTI inputs)