Jakarta: Defending champions India completed their Pool A hockey league engagements at the 18th Asian Games by handing minnows Sri Lanka 20-0 a humiliating defeat on Tuesday.
In the goal feast, Akashdeep Singh fired in six goals, while Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh shared nine goals between them. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay scored a brace and Amit Rohidas, Vivek Sagar and Dilpreet Singh fired a goal each apiece.
India have scored 76 goals so far in this tournament, including a record-breaking 26-0 historic win over Hong Kong.
“The boys are hungry for success, they want to score more and more goals,” said India coach Harendra Singh, whose side will be taking on Malaysia in the semi-finals on Thursday. “I have given them the freedom to do that. In the end, it comes down to how you perform on that particular day.”
Malaysia made it to the semis by finishing second behind eight-times champion Pakistan in Pool B. Pakistan completed their league fixtures beating Bangladesh 5-0 on Tuesday. Mohammad Atiq and Ali Mubashar scored a brace and Shah Ali competed the tally. Pakistan will be meeting the winner of the clash between Japan and South Korea.
India had topped their group in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou but then suffered a shock defeat to Malaysia in the semis. When reminded about the result, coach Harendra said: “This is a different team from that one. I have only told the boys to focus on themselves and their own game, not the opponent. All of us including players and staff are here to create a legacy and make history. There are no easy or tough matches for us. Our job is to go out there and do our best and win.”