New Delhi, Feb 23: India continued its winning streak at the men’s Hero Hockey World League Round 2 and strengthened its position at top of the table with a convincing 4-0 win over China at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Saturday.
After its fourth consecutive win, India remained at the top of the table with 12 points from four matches and are followed by Ireland (9) and Bangladesh (9) in the second and third place. The top two teams will qualify for the third round of the World League, which is a qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup.
Though China are ranked seven placed behind India in the FIH rankings they put on a good fight and made the hosts work hard for the goals.
Despite making regular inroads, India just got four penalty corners and managed to convert two through V.R.Raghunath (11th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (42nd).
Raghunath added the team’s second and his eighth from a scramble following a baseline pull-back in the 28th minute and Dharamvir Singh scored in 40th for the World No.11.
India were too flamboyant in their attack in the first half as the Chinese defence stood the test.
While India took the lead through the penalty corner, they had to keep changing the flanks in their attempt to score more. It finally paid off for them in the 28th minute when defender Ranghunath scored from a from the left pulling back from the back-line, as India went up 2-0.
A draw for India in their last game against Bangladesh will be enough for India to move into the next round as the tournament champions while China need a huge win over Ireland to have any chance of breaking into the top two.