The Indian Men’s Hockey team defeated Wales 4-1 in their final Pool B fixture here on Thursday to retain their top position in the group and qualify for the semifinals. Harmanpreet Singh scored a hat-trick to help his team thrash Wales. Gurjant Singh also chipped in with a goal in the fourth quarter to extend India’s lead and finish the game on the winning side. The trio of Akashdeep, Varun, and Vivek Sagar combined to make India’s strong defense unbreachable.
For Wales, Gareth Furlong was the lone scorer who converted a penalty corner in the 55th minute to give his team something to cheer about.
India got off to a cautious start, maintaining possession in the midfield as Wales pressed deeper inside India’s half. The in-form forward Mandeep Singh managed to break through the shackles and enter inside the striking circle, but Wales were able to clear away the danger.
Wales forward James Carson took a shot on target but India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made a stunning save to deny the opposition. Mandeep Singh created an opportunity in the final few seconds of the first quarter, but the Welsh defense prevented a shot on target, and the scoreline remained 0-0.
But Harmanpreet Singh who has also scored a hat-trick against Ghana in the opening fixture scored back-to-back goals in the 18th and 19th minute to give India a lead. Both the goals came from penalty corners for Harmanpreet. Singh scored the third goal for India and himself in the 41st minute as he successfully converted a penalty stroke, taking his total goals tally in the tournament to 9.
The fourth goal came from the stick of Gurjant Singh who successfully went past Welsh goalkeeper in the 49th minute. This gave India a cushion which eventually resulted in a 4-1 win for the Manpreet Singh-led side. India will next play in the Semifinal match on August 6.