|February 24th, 2013|
|15||Round Robin||8:00pm||IND - BAN||5 - 1 (2 - 1)||Final||x 22|
India completed a perfect five wins from five to take first place from the men’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two, making it a Delhi double for the host nation in the Major Dhyan Chand stadium.
Bangladesh, though, came with the intention of spoiling the party and took a shock lead from the first penalty corner of the game, the lethal Md Mamunur Rahman Chayan shooting home his seventh goal of the tournament. He then took a rocket of a VR Raghunath drag-flick off the line as they made life difficult for the hosts.
But, after plenty of pressure, they got back on terms in the 15th minute from a great Danish Mujtaba effort, guiding in a crash ball from Raghunath from outside the 22. They were piling on the chances at this stage but Md Zahid Hossain was in inspired form throughout the game while Md Imran Hasan desperately swept another effort off the line.
Rupinder Pal Singh’s corner goal made it 2-1 on the stroke of half-time and, in the second half, India found the goals just a little easier to come by despite some superb saves from Hossain.
Akashdeep Singh pushed the lead out to 3-1 with a sweetly timed touch while Malak Singh did likewise in the 58th minute. Player of the match Mujtaba closed out the scoring for the tournament with six minutes left. It meant Bangladesh finished in third but, nonetheless, a super showing for the world number 40 side.
Afterwards, India captain Sardar Singh was named as player of the tournament, receiving R200,000 for his efforts, sponsored by Hero. VR Raghunath shared the top goalscorer prize – and a Hero cheque for R100,000 – with Ireland’s Alan Sothern for his eight goals in the competition.
They both won their respective positional titles with Raghunath named defender of the tournament and Sothern getting the prize for best attacker. David Harte was named the best goalkeeper while Rashel “Jimmy” Mahmud was the top midfield player.