Sandeep, Sunil star in India`s 7-4 victory over South Africa

Johannesburg: Drag-flick specialist Sandeep Singh and striker S V Sunil scored two goals each as India dished out a fast-paced and entertaining hockey to beat South Africa 7-4 in the Champions Challenge on Sunday.

Playing a fine, brisk game to match their robust rivals, India capitalised on every scoring opportunity to open a big margin after being levelled at 4-4 until the 55th minute in the Pool A league match.

Sandeep converted two penalty corners in the 14th and 35th minutes, while Saravanjit Singh (29th) and Tushar Khandekar (41st) scored one apiece.

South Africa kept pace with goals coming from Justin Reid-Ross (sixth minute), Marvin Harper (38th), Miguel de Garcia (46th) and Tim Drummond (48th) before India struck a purple patch with three goals in the last 15 minutes.

Sunil, opening up the South African defence with his fine runs down the right flank, capitalised on a Khandekar pass in the 55th minute and then slammed a rising rebound on a 66th minute penalty corner into the net.

Rupinder Pal Singh made no mistake with a 65th minute penalty stroke as India surprised the rival defence on several occasions and ran away with a well-deserved victory.

The victory gave India four points from two matches, the same as Belgium, who yesterday drew 3-3 with India and beat Poland 7-3 today.

Belgium rode on Tom Boon`s four-goal burst to emerge 7-3 victors over Poland in the Pool A match.

In Pool B action, Pan American champions Argentina rallied with two second-half goals to pull off a 3-2 victory over Canada while Malaysia scored a 69th minute goal to clinch a 2-2 draw with Japan.


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