After a lot-to-be-desired showing in the first two games against Pakistan and Japan, the Birendra Lakra-led Indian team poured out all their ‘not playing well so far’ frustration on hapless Indonesia, bulldozing them 16-0 to storm into the Super 4s of the 11th Asia Cup at the GBK Stadium in Jakarta. A Super 4s spot appeared far away for the Blueshirts but they made it a reality, scoring six goals in the first half and ten goals in the second goal – interestingly, India scored 16 goals in the 50 minutes if we factor in our opening goal scored in the 10th minute of play.
Fullback Dipsan Tirkey came into his own in the second half, scoring a four-goal hat-trick and was ably supported by Sudev Belimagga, who also notched up a hat-trick. Experienced SV Sunil, Selvam Karthi and Pawan Rajbhar scored a brace each – the likes of Xess Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Uttam Singh, and Abhishek Lakra scored once. The big win, however, cannot dilute the disappointment among the fans over their shoddy display in the opening two games.
One hopes that with a big win under their belt, the Indian team would be in a better frame of mind and would be able to counter the challenges thrown by Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia in the Super 4s stage.