India have topped the group and have qualified for the quarterfinals after beating Canada 5-1.
Read Praveen Sudevan’s match report here.
Harendera Singh on the match: We had expected a tough fight. They made us struggle in the first half. After they scored the first goal, I told the team to just maintain the structure and goals will come. And that is what happened. Now that we have reached the quarters, the fittest team will survive.
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay is named the Player of the match for his two goals and overall play.
This is how the pool looks now
FULL TIME: India 5 Canada 1: India will be pretty pleased with the end result. They struggled in the second and third quarter but came out strong in the fourth and final quarter and scored four times to win 5-1 and top the group and reach the quarters.
58th minute: India 5 Canada 1: India have surprisingly taken off Sreejesh despite the lead. May be practising the pressure game for the knock outs.
GOAL: 57th minute: India 5 Canada 1: Lalit Upadhyay had the easiest tap in for his second goal as Sumit makes a probing run from the right and crosses the ball across the goal and Lalit makes no mistake in deflecting it into the empty net.
55th minute: India 4 Canada 1: Canada will have to play the last five minutes with 10 men after James Kirkpatrick has been showed a yellow card for a sliding tackle.
GOAL: 51st minute: India 4 Canada 1: Lalit Upadhyay takes on four Canada defenders in the striking circle and earns a penalty corner. Amit Rohidas took a step forward and then takes a hit instead of a drag flick and scores.
GOAL: 47th minute: India 3 Canada 1: Lalit Kumar Upadhyay makes it two in two minutes. He intercepts the ball just outside the striking circle and make a 360 degree turn before beating the goalkeeper with a strong hit.
GOAL: 46th minute: India 2 Canada 1: India came out all guns blazing at the start of the fourth quarter and vice captain Chinglensana shows his shooting skills as he did not even bother to trap the ball on rebound and hit it low from the top of the striking circle to beat the South African custodian.
End of third quarter: India 1 Canada 1: India got a wake up call after Floris van Son found the net in the 39th minute. The hosts then again showed some purpose and came close to scoring in the last two minutes. They need to maintain that tempo and also their shape as they look for a winner in the final quarter.
44th minute: India 1 Canada 1: Mandeep Singh once again creates India’s best chance of the third quarter as he makes a probing run from the right and lifts the ball slightly over the defender to find Lalit Kumar Upadhyay in front of the goal. But Lalit goes for a hit instead of trying to deflect the ball inside the goal and misses it completely.
42st minute: India 1 Canada 1: India have been guilty of losing the ball rather easily in the third quarter as player’s trying to show their individual dribbling skills rather than passing the ball around and Harendra Singh should be understandably livid. The Indians have lost their shape and Canada is finding more room to attack the Indian goal.
GOAL: 39th minute: India 1 Canada 1: Canada find the equaliser on a counter. They capitalised on the mistake from Simranjeet Singh and Floris van Son beats Sreejesh with a clinical finish.
35th minute: India 1 Canada 0: Canada have been on the offensive since the start of the third quarter. Not a good idea for the hosts given that they just have a one goal lead so far.
If the scoreline stays like this at the end of 60 minutes, then this is how the standings will look.
While the Indians get ready for the second half, you can read the match report of Belgium vs South Africa match here.
Half time: India 1 Canada 0: India would be disappointed by just one goal from the first half, having dominated the proceedings for most of the 30 minutes. They attacked mostly from the right and Mandeep Singh was exceptional with his probing runs. But the quality of the final ball and trapping inside the striking circle left a lot to be desired.
30th minute: India 1 Canada 0: James Wallace gets a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Hardik Singh. Canada will be a man down for 5 minutes now.
26th minute: India 1 Canada 0: Simranjeet Singh made a probing run from the left and fed the ball to Akashdeep, who did well to beat a defender with his first touch but could not get enough power in his push to beat the goalkeeper.
22nd minute: India 1 Canada 0: Canada will now be down a man for two minutes after Iain Smythe receives a green card. Sumit almost made the most of that advantage but his shot is well saved.
18th minute: India 1 Canada 0: India are clearly looking for another goal as they know that a 1-0 lead doesn’t really mean anything in hockey. Most of India’s attacks are coming from the right but the final ball that Harendra Singh has been complaining about is still not up to the mark.
End of first quarter: India 1 Canada 0: India goes into the first break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Harmanpreet Singh. The hosts started dominating the proceedings in the second half of the quarter and coach Harendra Singh will want them to maintain the tempo for another 15 minutes and extend the lead.
13th minute: India 1 Canada 0: India goes for a variation on their third penalty corner but Canada’s defence manages to thwart the danger.
GOAL: 12th minute: India 1 Canada 0: India finally have a lead with Harmanpreet Singh converting the team’s second penalty corner with the clinical finish to the right of the Canadian goalkeeper.
11th minute: India 0 Canada 0: India have started putting more pressure on Canada goal. Mandeep Singh makes a good move from the right but could not find the finishing touch.
10th minute: India 0 Canada 0: India earn their first penalty corner but Harmanpreet Singh could not even beat the first runner and the change goes begging.
9th minute: India 0 Canada 0: Manpreet Singh puts in a fantastic cross from the left and Dilpreet manages to get a stick to it but the Canadian goalkeeper had little trouble in kicking the ball away.
6th minute: India 0 Canada 0: India have been happy to keep possession have keep the pace of the match down so far. They have made a few forays from the right but nothing that could trouble the Canadian defence.
6.57 pm: PR Sreejesh is back under the bar for India after visiting his hometown to meet his father, who was hospitalised a few days ago. India has lined up in the same aggressive manner as playing safe could be detrimental.
6.40 pm: Here is how the Pool C looks after the Belgium vs South Africa match. As of now Belgium tops the group with seven points. But for that to change, India just needs to beat Canada and they would get a direct entry in the quarterfinals. Both India and Belgium now have a goal difference of 5 and a win for India by any margin would only improve that margin for the hosts.
6.35 pm: Belgium win their last Group C encounter against South Africa 5-1. And the Indian team waiting in the wings would have heaved a sigh of relief after Belgium was denied a sixth goal against South Africa as the hooter went off before the ball crossed the goalline. Had Belgium scored the sixth goal, India would have needed to win by two goals to maintain a better goal difference and pip the Rio Olympics silver medallist for the top spot.
6.30 pm: India came into the World Cup Group with the primary aim to avoid the cross-over muddle and qualify directly for the quarterfinals. And Harendra Singh and his men would have destiny in their own hands when they face Canada in the third and last group encounter.
India began their campaign with a bang, defeating South Africa 5-0 in a one-sided encounter. Though they were held to a 2-2 draw thanks to a late equaliser from higher ranked Belgium, the Indian team would be confident about getting the better of Canada and making sure that there are no hiccups in achieving their primary goal.
And this is what Harendra had to say in his pre-match comments.