Jakarta: Defending champions India made a mockery of Sri Lankan challenge pumping in 20 goals to remain unbeaten in the pool stages, setting up a tricky semi-final clash against Malaysia in the men's hockey competition at the Asian Games.
It has been a scintillating performance from the Indians in the pool stages as they scored as many as 76 goals and conceded just three.
It was always going to be a cakewalk for World No 5 India against Sri Lanka, ranked 38th and it turned out to be so as the title holders toyed with the rival defence to score goals at will.
Akashdeep Singh (9th, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 32nd, 42nd minutes) scored six goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (1st, 52, 53rd), playing his 200th international match, Harmanpreet Singh (5th, 21st, 33rd) and Mandeep Singh (35th, 43rd, 59th) struck thrice each as India completely dismantled the Sri Lankan defence from start to finish.
Lalit Upadhyay scored twice (57th, 58th), while Vivek Sagar Prasad (31st), Amit Rohidas (38th) and Dilpreet Singh (53rd) scored a goal each.
India, thus, topped Pool Pool A with an all-win record from five games and will take on second placed team in Pool B, Malaysia in the first semi-final on Thursday.
Having already secured their place in the semi-finals, the match against Sri Lanka was an inconsequential encounter for the Indians but they came out full steam to decimate the islanders.
Such was India's domination was that the Lankans failed to register a single shot at the Indian goal, leave aside earning any penalty corners.
The Indians, on the other hand, had 46 shots at the Lankan goal and found the target on 20 occasions.
The Indians scored 12 field goals, seven from penalty corners and one from penalty stroke.
Such was India's confidence that they withdrew their goalkeeper 1 minutes from the hooter for an extra field player and the move bore fruit as they scored six goals in that period.
Meanwhile, last edition's bronze medallist India will face reigning silver medallist China in the semi-finals of the women's hockey competition on Wednesday while title holders Korea will take on Japan.
Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 17:55:24 IST