Muscat, October 18 – Three goals from young striker Dilpreet Singh enabled India to launch the defense of their Hero Asian Champions Trophy title with a runaway 11-0 victory over hosts Oman, two early penalty corner strikes paved the way for Malaysia’s 3-0 victory over Asian Games gold medallists Japan on the opening day.
After being denied in the first quarter by the hosts, India opened the scoring through Lalit Upadhyay’s goal in open play in the 17th minute. Three more goals followed in the second quarter as Harmanpreet Singh (22nd minute) sounded the board with a low drag-flick, followed by Nilakanta Sharma (23rd minute) flicking in during a goalmouth scrimmage and Mandeep Singh (30th minute) capitalizing on a pass from the right flank.
Having started with two forays into the Indian circle in the first quarter, Oman wilted under pressure in the second half.
Dilpreet scored three goals (41st, 55th and 57th minutes) and was adjudged Man of the Match, while Gurjant Singh (37th minute), Akashdeep Singh (48th minute), Varun Kumar (49th minute) and Chinglensana Singh (53rd minute) made entries on the score-sheet.
Malaysia avenged their loss in the final of the recent Asian Games final to Japan with Faizal Saari scoring twice.
Saari sent a drag flick into the net to open Malaysia’s account in the third minute and Tengku Tajuddin capitalized on a rebound from the goalkeeper on the second penalty corner six minutes later.
Japan fought back to do create some chances in the second quarter but failed to convert them. Saari spiked any chance of Japan’s fight-back with a deft penalty stroke in the 51st minute. The penalty stroke was awarded on a Malaysian referral that showed Saari being pushed from behind inside the circle.
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