India continued their strong show in the FIH Series Finals as they defeated South Africa 5-1 in the summit clash to win the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament on Saturday. World no. 5 India played at their best and did not lose even a single game throughout the tournament.
Dragflickers Varun Kumar scored in 2nd and 49th minute, while Harmanpreet Singh scored in 11th and 25th minute. Vivek Sagar Prasad (35th) was the other goal scorer for India. South Africa’s lone goal was scored by Richard Pautz in the 53rd minute.
With this win, India has won the points which should keep it in the top five of the FIH World Rankings, to be updated in September. For South Africa, it will look to build on this performance by defending its African Championship title in August.
What a stellar performance it was by India’s ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh!
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 15, 2019
India secured their first penalty corner as early as in the second minute and Varun made no mistake in converting the opportunity into goal. In the 11th minute, India got another penalty corner and this time Harmanpreet slammed home to make the scoreline 2-0 in favour of the hosts.
Seconds before the end of the first quarter, South Africa got a rare opportunity but Nqobile Ntuli’s reverse hit was kept away by Krishan Bahadur Pathak in front of the Indian goal.Five minutes from half time, India were awarded a penalty stroke when Birendra Lakra was stick-checked inside South Africa’s ‘D’ by Jethro Eustice and Harmanpreet made no mistake to make the scoreline 3-0.
Five minutes into the third quarter, India extended their lead when Vivek Sagar Prasad scored from close range after being set up by Simranjeet Singh.
India earned their fourth penalty corner in the 49th minute and Varun did not miss the opportunity to make the scoreline 5-0 in the India’ss favour. South Africa finally had something to cheer about when they secured back-to-back penalty corners in the 53rd minute and from the second chance, Pautz deflected in Eustice’s flick to reduce the margin to 5-1.
Four minutes before the full time, India secured two more penalty corners but failed to convert them into Goals.