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2018 World Cup News
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Brave Canada succumbs late, India into Quarters (12/8/2018)
--s2h Team
What appeared a tense outing in the first three quarters turned out be an one-sided affair when India changed gears in the opening minutes of the last quarter, and struck a brace of goal, in the vital third and last pool match today at Kalinga stadium. Canada had the measure of India in the first half with their brand of aggression, and let the crowd-packed hosts lead just by a solitary goal till half time. The game changing last quarter saw India unleashing unbound energy and enterprise to romp home with a majestic 5-1 win against Canada, identical as Belgium's over South Africa earlier in the day.

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with two wins and a draw, by far the best opening phase for India in the last six World Cups, India qualified for the Quarters directly. Belgium and Canada will now play cross-over match for the quarterfinal slot.

But Canada was not disgraced in the encounter and held nerves till Harmanpreet Singh sough to change the flow of the match with his immaculate conversion off India's second penalty corner. India held the 12th minute lead gamely till fouth minutes in to the third quarter. At that point, Canada broke the defence to puncture an authoritive field goal by Floris van Son.

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It was a full house and the roars and applauds can dim any team's pressure. But thanks to the guts of the Pan American champions, they checked the Indians, who were stuttering in front of the goal, from dictating terms. Conversely, it was the visitors who often turned out to be thorn in the flesh of the hosts.

India had to deploy otherwise a regular forward Lalit Upadhyay in the midfield to serve dual purpose. First to give rest to captain Manpreet Singh who is running fever and also has a sore throat. Secondly, his services were utilized in the upfront later in the last quarter, which turned out to be golden spell for both crowd and India.

A few seconds after vice-captain Chinglensana managed to slip in a close range ball, Lalit Upadhyay connected and deflected a perfect feed from right flank to enlarge the lead to 4-1.

Local hero Amit Rohidas did a Harmanpreet off another penalty corner to take the game into safe custody. Not to be undone, Lalit it was again who added another goal in a stylish way to force the fierly contested match into a ritual for inform India.

"What more I can ask from my boys" was the first reaction of victorious coach Harendra Singh on the stupendous home win.

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