India Make Perfect Start, Beat South Africa 5-0, India started their Hockey World Cup 2018 campaign with a 5-0 win against South Africa in their first Pool C encounter at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Simranjeet Singh (43rd, 46th minute) scored a brace, while Mandeep Singh (10th minute), Akashdeep Singh (12th minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (45th minute) were the other goal getters for India against South Africa, ranked 10 places below India.
World number five India are eyeing to reclaim the World Cup after 43 years, a title which they won only once way back in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur. India coach Harendra Singh had said ahead of the match that a win in the first match will ease up some nerves. A win like that, surely the pressure has reduced!
Simranjeet looked unstoppable on the field and continued to tear apart the weak defence of the South African side scoring another goal in the fourth quarter to make it 5-0 in India's favour. Simranjeet Singh was adjudged Man of the Match, who scored two goals for his side.
The two squads are as follows:
India: PR Sreejesh, Krishna Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (C), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Sumit, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Simranjeet Singh.
South Africa: Tim Drummond (C), Dayaan Cassiem, Taylor Dart, Tyson Dlungwana, Jethro Eustice, Rhett Halkett, Tommy Hammond, Keenan Horne, Julian Hykes, Gowan Jones, Peabo Lembethe, Mo Mea, Bili Ntuli, Taine Paton, Richard Pautz, Rassie Pieterse, Austin Smith and Nic Spooner