Indian men’s hockey team continued its winning run at the ongoing Hockey World Cup 2018, routing Canada 5-1 in the last Pool C match in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. With the victory, India secured a place in the quarterfinals, which will be played at the same venue on Thursday. Lalit Upadhyay scored a double, while Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and Amit Rohidas contributed with a goal each in India’s comprehensive win that put them on the top of the Pool C points table.
India finished the group stage with seven points from three matches. Belgium, who thrashed South Africa 5-1 earlier in the day, have the same points in equal number of matches. However, the Indian team boasted better goal difference over Belgium that confirmed them a direct entry to the quarterfinals.
The hosts started the game aggressively and took the lead in the first quarter after Harmanpreet found the back of the net through a penalty corner in the 12th minute.
India went into half-time with a 1-0 lead without much facing too many attacks on their goal.
Floris van Son scored the equaliser for Canada in the 39th minute to give India a massive jolt. The hosts couldn’t regain the lead in the third quarter.
However, Varanasi-born forward Lalit Upadhyay assured the fourth quarter to be full of thrills and celebrations. He netted twice for India in the 47th and 57th minute.
Defender Rohidas found the back of the net through his PC attempt in the 51st minute.
Earlier, India started their campaign with a 5-1 win over South Africa, following which they tied 2-2 against Belgium.
In the quarterfinals, India will play the winner of the crossover match between Belgium and third-placed Pool D team that is yet to be confirmed.