Cape Town: The Indian men’s hockey team kicked off its South Africa tour on Monday with a stunning 4-0 win against the hosts of Paris Olympics Games France here. While India’s defence remained resolute with France unable to breach past the experience of P.R Sreejesh and Krishan Pathak in the goalpost, India scored a flurry of goals backed by an excellent PC attack.
India’s first goal came in the 13th minute through Harmanpreet Singh’s exceptional drag-flick. He added to his team’s scoreline in the 26th minute via PC, improving on his drag flick to score past the French goalie.
Interestingly, India’s third goal too came off a brilliant PC variation in which the team’s experienced forward Lalit Upadhyay converted the goal in the 42nd minute.
In the 49th minute, experienced attacking midfielder and vice-captain Hardik Singh took India’s lead to a formidable 4-0 through a finely executed field goal, ensuring his team registered a splendid win.
The week-long tournament features France, the Netherlands, India and hosts South Africa. On January 24, India will face France in their second match, followed by a match against hosts South Africa on Jan 26 and will take on the Netherlands on the 28th.