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2020 Oly Qualifier
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India wallops Russia to ten zero (6/6/2019)
--s2h Team
Taking a firm step towards top podium finish, India walloped Russia 10-0 in its first match on Day I of FIH Men's Series Final in Bhubneswar. Earlier in the opening day, the USA stunned higher ranked South Africa with a spirited 2-0 success after which Poland made mincemeat of Uzbekistan (5-0) for their day under the sun. )Opening day saw none of the losing side post even a token goal.

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India scored a token goal in the first quarter, two in the next before amassing five in the third when Russia actually pressed hard before a brace in the last session saw them pile up double digit victory.

Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh struck a brace while Nilakanta Sharma, Amit Rohidos, Vivek Prasad, Gursahibjit Singh, Varun Kumar and Simranjeet Singh posted a goal apiece.

Russia could not withstand faster india's co-ordinated moves.

However, they had their patch in the last three minutes of third quarter. A forward swept in air when the ball was just plumb in front of the cage with goalie beaten already. The near goal was lost in that excited moments after which ever-present Surender Kumar cleared the danger ball out of danger.

within a minute from this, the red shirts got their only penalty corner of the match. The striker just flicked above cross bar to lose the god-send opportunity.

Nilakanta Sharma, who struck the India's second goal which opened the floodgates subsequently, was fittingly declared Man of the Match.

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Manpreet Singh was honest in his post match tele-interview when he said that he expected tough contest considering their practice games here, but was happy to win the opener impressive.

"We expected a tight match. We saw them on some practice matches, they were really good. We got many opportunities and availed them. Happy to win impressively against the good crowd", the captain who was playing his milestone 250th match said.

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