FIH Series Finals 2019: Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh score brace to help India beat South Africa 5-1 and clinch gold

Dragflickers Varun Kumar (2nd and 49th minutes) and Harmanpreet Singh (11th and 25th) scored a brace each, while Vivek Sagar Prasad (35th) was the other goal scorer for India

Press Trust of India June 15, 2019 21:59:23 IST
FIH Series Finals 2019: Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh score brace to help India beat South Africa 5-1 and clinch gold
  • World No 5 India played like champions and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament

  • Dragflickers Varun Kumar (2nd and 49th minutes) and Harmanpreet Singh (11th and 25th) scored a brace each, while Vivek Sagar Prasad (35th) was the other goal scorer for India

Bhubaneswar: India lived up to their billing and thrashed South Africa 5-1 in the summit clash to win the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament here Saturday.

Coming into the tournament as overwhelming favourites, World No  5 India played like champions and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.

FIH Series Finals 2019 Varun Kumar Harmanpreet Singh score brace to help India beat South Africa 51 and clinch gold

Varun Kumar scores off PC in 49th minute to add another one to the India's tally. Image courtesy: Twitter/HockeyIndia

Dragflickers Varun Kumar (2nd and 49th minutes) and Harmanpreet Singh (11th and 25th) scored a brace each, while 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.

India and South Africa have already qualified for the final round of the Olympic qualifiers before Saturday's summit clash.

Earlier in the day, Asian Games champion Japan defeated USA 4-2 to finish third in the competition.

The top two finishers of this tournament make it to the final round of the Olympic qualifiers to be held later this year.

Going by world rankings, the Indians were expected to control the proceedings and they exactly did that from the word go.

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.

The flow of the match continued in the same vein after the change of ends with India dominating the proceedings.

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 secured their third penalty corner in the 41st minute but this time Amit Rohidas' try was saved by the South African goalkeeper.

India kept up the pressure and earned their fourth penalty corner in the 49th minute and Varun scored from a variation to make the scoreline 5-0 in the home team's 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 from the final hooter, India secured two more penalty corners but failed to utilise the opportunities.

South Africa too got a last chance to pull another goal back in the form of their third penalty corner but to no effect.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

'I've never felt so stressed': Indian men's hockey striker Mandeep Singh on COVID-19 recovery period
Sports

'I've never felt so stressed': Indian men's hockey striker Mandeep Singh on COVID-19 recovery period

Mandeep is one of the six men hockey players, including skipper Manpreet Singh, who had tested positive for COVID-19 at the team's training base here last month after they arrived for the national camp.

Indian men's hockey team analytical coach Chris Ciriello resigns: Report
Sports

Indian men's hockey team analytical coach Chris Ciriello resigns: Report

Ciriello is the third Australian support staff of Hockey India after High Performance Director John and men's team physio David MacDonald to have resigned in the last one month.

India's resurgence in hockey the result of systematic approach, two-way communication, says SV Sunil
Sports

India's resurgence in hockey the result of systematic approach, two-way communication, says SV Sunil

The 31-year-old forward from Karnataka said senior players are now consulted by Hockey India, to ensure everything is on the right track.