CWG 2022: Harmanpreet Singh hits treble as India blank Ghana 11-0

That India would take Ghana in the stride in their campaign opener was a foregone conclusion. The question was, what would be the scoreline? In a clinical performance, Manpreet Singh & Co toyed with the CWG debutants with an imposing 11-0 victory.
Even before the Ghanaians could settle down, India were off the blocks in the second minute, converting a penalty corner as Abhishek scored off a rebound after Harmanpreet Singh’s dragflick was stopped by goalkeeper Duisberg Offei. Ghana earned a penalty corner soon but wasted it. Thereafter, they went into a defensive mood, and that opened the floodgates for India.
Harmanpreet marked his 150th appearance for the country with a three-goal effort. The others to get their names on the scoresheet were Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Jugraj Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Varun Kumar and Mandeep Singh.
Long balls, aerial passes, utilising the flanks and exploiting gaping holes in the Ghana defence were part of India’s game plan. They worked well for them.
The game was restricted to the Ghana 23-metre mark and the number of Indian forays increased with each passing minute.
Harmanpreet doubled the lead with a powerful dragflick which found the top right of the goal. Even as India dictated the pace, Shamsher Singh added to the tally, positioning himself to receive a baseline pass from Abhishek which was tapped in. The packed Ghana defence helped India eke out penalty corners at will. Although the tempo of the game fell in the final quarter, it had no bearing on India’s dominance.
The real test for India is on Monday, when they take on hosts England.
Vandana strikes double in win
Meanwhile, the Indian women notched up their second consecutive win, defeating Wales 3-1 on Saturday night.
After a scrappy 5-0 win against Ghana, India put up a much-improved show against Wales. After a barren first quarter, India struck two goals to take a 2-0 lead.
First, Vandana Katariya scored off a penalty corner in the 26th minute and Gurjit Kaur’s dragflick found the net two minutes later. Wales pulled one back through Xenna Hughes, who found the mark off a penalty corner in the 45th minute. Vandana added one more in the 48th minute before Wales managed to hold off the relentless attacks in the final 10 minutes.

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