Hockey World League: India maul Oman 9-1
New Delhi: Vice-captain V R Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Nithin Thimmaiah scored a brace each to guide India to a resounding 9-1 win over minnows Oman and register their second straight victory in the men`s Hero Hockey World League Round 2 here today.
Raghunath (3rd minute, 40th) and Rupinder (14th, 38th) converted two penalty corners apiece while Nithin (16th, 60th) scored his two goals through field efforts.
Dharamvir Singh (20th), debutant Mandeep Singh (42nd) and another penalty corner specialist Gurjinder Singh (65th) were the other goal scorers for the hosts at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
Mohammed Hubais Al Shar scored the consolation goal for Oman.
Ranked 21 places ahead of the 36th ranked Omanese, the Indians went into the match as favourites and expectedly controlled the proceedings from start to finish.
Oman`s attacks were few and far between but whenever opportunity came their way, they lacked quality to trouble the Indian defence. It didn`t take too long for India to open the scoring as Raghunath converted the hosts` first penalty corner in the third minute.
It was raining goals for India as Rupinder doubled the lead in the 14th minute from another set piece before Nithin made it 3-0 two minutes later, scoring from close range after pouncing on a loose ball.
A diving Dharamvir also registered his name in the scoresheet after gently tapping in Mandeep`s pass from a difficult angle four minutes later.
Oman, however, pulled one back in the 35th minute from a penalty corner through Al Shar, whose low drag-flick beat Indian goalkeeper P R Sreejesh all ends up to go into the breather trailing 1-4.
The Indians continued in the same breath after the change of ends and pumped in two more goals in a span of two minutes when Raghunath and Rupinder converted two more penalty corners to stretch India`s lead.
Debutant Mandeep was not to be left behind as he scored his first international goal in the 42nd minute.
Nithin then scored his second goal of the day in the 60th minute with a fierce hit from top of the circle before Gurjinder converted a penalty corner five minutes from the hooter to hand India the big win.
By virtue of this win, India are atop the standings with six points from two games. The Indians will next play 15th ranked Ireland tomorrow.
In earlier matches of the day, Ireland thrashed lowest-ranked Fiji 13-0, while 40th ranked Bangladesh stunned 18th ranked China 3-2.
India`s chief coach Michael Nobbs was not too happy with his wards performance today and said they need to iron out a few grey areas ahead of the tough matches in the tournament.
"We won big today but we didn`t concentrate much on our structure. There was a time when our nine players were in Oman`s half. We can`t afford to do that against top teams of the world," he said.
Nobbs was also impressed with neighbours Bangladesh`s stunning victory over higher-ranked China today.
"I was mighty impressed by Bangladesh?s performance. They had exceeded expectations."
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