Manpreet Singh-led India defeated South Africa in the Men’s Hockey Semifinal 1 on Saturday to storm into the final of the event. India beat South Africa 3-2 to book themselves a berth in the final. Mandeep, Abhishek, and Jugraj Singh were the stars for India as they scored three crucial goals. Meanwhile, for South Africa, Mustapha Cassiem and Ryan Julius scored to send some alarming signs for the Men in Blue.
The game started on a gripping note as both teams played cautiously in the first quarter and did not concede a goal. After 15 minutes of goalless action, India finally ended the drought in the second quarter when Abhishek’s backhand from the curve of the box sneaked inside the South African goal post.
The second goal also came soon for India when Mandeep Singh scored through a drag flick. Singh dribbled past the South African defenders with ease and took his aim and put the goal into the opposition’s net. With these goals from Mandeep, India went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
However, South Africa came up with a plan in the third quarter as Ryan Julius scored the first goal for his team and helped decrease the deficit. But other than that goal, South Africa could not do much and ended Q3 with a 1-2 deficit. India, on the other hand, did pretty well to not let got their lead.
The Men in Blue continued their good run in the fourth quarter as well when Jugraj Singh converted a penalty corner in the last few minutes to further extend India’s lead. South Africa’s decision to replace their goalie cost them a lot as Jugraj’s goal came in the absence of the goalkeeper. Mustapha Cassmeine gave a glimmer of hope as he scored with one minute to go but India quickly took back their guard and successfully defended till the hooter was blown.