India began its 2018 Hockey World Cup campaign with a bang by routing South Africa 5-0 in the ongoing tournament at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
India, currently ranked fifth in the world, made easy work of fifteenth ranked South Africa to increase its confidence for the next tie against Belgium.
Mandeep Singh opened the scoring at the tenth minute, which was then doubled by Akashdeep Singh two minutes later. Simranjeet Singh then made the score 3-0 in the forty-third minute. The tally was then added to by Simranjeet and Lalit Upadhyay resulting in a final score of 5-0.
The match also marked Chinglensana Kangujam’s 200th game for the nation, who while speaking to the media expressed joy at the team’s positive start and at the same time acknowledged that a tough road lies ahead.
In the other game, Belgium edged past Canada with a 2-1 victory. India would now face the European nation on Sunday (2 December). It would be a tough challenge, considering Belgium who won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, are ranked third in the world.
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