Oman lose to China; India trounce Fiji


Action from the Oman-China match in New Delhi. Oman played well but failed to score. Photo – FIH

Muscat: Oman began the FIH World Hockey League (WHL) Round 2 on a disappointing when they lost to China 4-0 in the opening game in New Delhi.

Coached by Oliver Kurtz of Germany, the Omani players were not at their best in the match.  Fielding 13 debutants, China started off with two goals in each half to see off a lively Oman side.  Penalty corners were key for the Chinese, making up three quarters of their strikes as Yanjun Su got them up and running after 12 minutes and Tao Li doubled up before the break.

Two minutes into the second half, skipper Mi Ji extended the margin before Oman had the best of their chances but Younis Ghabish Al Nofli and Anwar Jumman Saad were just off course.  Wei Meng's neat spin in mid-circle yielded the final goal with 12 minutes to go for a tidy start to proceedings. Oman will next play India.

In another match, Ireland beat Bangladesh 5-2 after recovering from a sticky opening at the hands of a lively Bangladesh who initially belied their world ranking of 40 to give the green machine a major scare.

They raced into a 2-0 lead when Mohammad Moinul Islam slid onto an excellent pass from Md Mosiur Rahman Mosiur from right back before Mohammed Mamunur Rahman Chayan swept home a penalty corner.

But the Irish recovered thanks to two close range efforts from Alan Sothern and a Chris Cargo rebound all in the space of 12 minutes to turn the tie their way before half-time.
Shane O'Donoghue's spectacular drag-flick 15 minutes from the end made the game a little safer while Sothern's third goal was a delightful effort, touching home Eugene Magee's right wing cross.

Meanwhile, India made no mistakes as their experience and all-round ability gave Fiji's inexperienced crew a tough lesson.

The hosts started in imperious fashion, rattling home five first half penalty corners with VR Raghunath leading the way to set up a large 7-0 lead at half-time and they scarcely slowed down in the second period.

Adrian Lal did find the net for Fiji but his effort was ruled out for an earlier infringement while a penalty corner shot went wide from their fleeting chance. But India were unstoppable in their quest for a sweet 16 to start their tournament on the right note.

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