India Vs South Africa | India beat South Africa 5-2, finish joint ninth

India Vs South Africa |  India beat South Africa 5-2, finish joint ninth

India beat South Africa 5-2, finish joint ninth

Rourkela. India produced a dominating performance scoring two goals each in the first and fourth quarter to thrash South Africa 5-2 in the classification match here on Saturday as the hosts finished joint ninth in the FIH Men’s World Cup. The world number six team earned six penalty corners in the match and scored one. On the other hand, 14th-ranked South Africa earned three penalty corners but could not convert even one.

India penetrated the circle 31 times while South Africa did so 22 times. The home team had 60 percent ball possession and had 14 shots on goal, while South Africa did so nine times. Player of the match Abhishek opened India’s account in the fifth minute before skipper Harmanpreet Singh doubled the score in the 12th minute with a drag-flick.

No goals could be scored in the second quarter, although India continued to make inroads into the opposition’s goal. Leading 2-0 in the first half, the Indian team had to play with 10 men for five minutes in the third quarter as Amit Rohidas was shown a yellow card. Soon after the arrival of Rohidas, India scored a goal in the third quarter thanks to Shamsher Singh (45th minute). Four goals were scored in the fourth quarter, with both teams scoring two goals each. India scored the fourth goal in the 49th minute with a brilliant team effort.

On Rajkumar Pal’s pass, Germanpreet Singh delivered a low cross which Akashdeep headed straight into the goal. Seconds later, South Africa scored the first goal of the match through Miwimbi Samkelo (49th minute) and Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh failed to keep out a powerful shot. Sukhjeet was sent off for five minutes in the 50th minute as he was shown a yellow card for a foul. But the South African team could not take advantage of this opportunity. Sukhjit scored the fifth goal for the team in the 58th minute. Akashdeep also played a key role in the goal as his reverse shot rebounded off the South African goalkeeper and Sukhjeet was in the right place to head it home. South Africa were awarded a penalty stroke a minute before the end of the match. Mustafa scored on it.

Captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “We didn’t think we would be in this position (joint ninth). But we haven’t lost a single match in this World Cup (lost in a shootout after a 3-3 draw against New Zealand). Barring New Zealand, we played well.”

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“We could have done better in those two quarters against New Zealand. We created chances to score and also defended well. In other matches of the day before this match, Argentina beat Wales 6-0 to joint ninth place with India. Malaysia beat Japan 3-2 to finish joint 13th with France.

France won 4–2 over Chile. Wales and South Africa finished joint 11th, while Japan and Chile finished last (joint 15th). India was ranked ninth in 1998 and 2014 as well. The team finished 10th in 1990 and 2002, 11th in 2006 and 12th in 1986. (agency)

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