India players celebrate after scoring a goal during the women's hockey pool B match between India and Kazakhstan. Photograph:( AFP )
A ruthless Indian women's hockey team today mauled lowly Kazakhstan 21-0 to notch up their second biggest win at the Asian Games here.
Goals rained thick and fast in the Pool B match at the GBK Hockey Field with as many as 10 Indians out of 18, who took the field, entering their names in the scoresheet.
The Indians scored almost at will against the hapless Kazakhstan team but the scoreline missed their all-time Asian Games record of 22-0 by a goal. The Indian women's team had beaten Hong Kong 22-0 in the 1982 Asiad.
Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, who had also scored a hat-trick in India's 8-0 thrashing of Indonesia in their opening match, top-scored again with four goals in the eighth, 36th, 44th and 52nd minutes.
Lalremsiami (9th, 19th, 29th), Navneet Kaur (11th, 12th and 49th) and Vandana Katariya (29th, 37th and 52nd) were the other three hat-trick scorers.
Navjot Kaur (16th and 54th), Lilima Minz (38th and 44th), Neha Goyal (10th), Udita (34th), Deep Grace Ekka (43rd) and Monika (55th) were the other goal scorers for India in the completely lop-sided match with Kazakhstan defending all through.
India, who had won a bronze in the 2014 Asian Games, are currently ranked ninth while Kazakhstan are 34th in the latest FIH chart. India is the highest ranked team in the competition.
Gurjit scored the first goal for India in the eighth minute as she sent a low and powerful shot to the Kazakhstan goalkeeper's left.
A minute later, India were 2-0 up as Lalremsiami connected a pass from Lilima Minz before Navneet struck her first goal two minutes later.
India were 4-0 up in the 11th minute, with Navneet finishing off once again.
India got their sixth goal of the game in the 18th minute off a penalty corner conversion by Lalremsiami.
FT| The Indian Women's Hockey Team's fantastic all-round show during their game against Kazakhstan at the 18th Asian Games 2018 spurs the team on to an impressive 21-0 victory at the competition on 21st August 2018.#IndiaKaGame #AsianGames2018 #INDvKAZ pic.twitter.com/zkRidWMAwq— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 21, 2018
Just a minute before the end of the second period, India were 8-0 up with Vandana scoring with a superb shot. Lalremsiami added another one to complete her hat-trick at the stroke of half time to make the scoreline 9-0.
India added another 12 goals in the next two 15-minute periods to overwhelm their opponents.
Since the Indian team has a three-day gap before they take on Korea on August 25, a very happy coach Sjoerd Marijne has granted the players an off-day tomorrow.
India captain Rani Rampal, who did not play in today's match due to a minor leg strain, said they would look to explore the city outside the Games Village and have some fun at a beach.
"There's nothing to do at the Games Village. We have a lot of time before the Korea game, so will have an off-day tomorrow," said Rani, who assured that she will be fine before the next match.
Marijne was more than happy with the performance of the players.
"For me it's not the goals which is important but the way we make the goals. I liked the behaviour. If you want to be a champion, you have to act like a champion. I did not see in the previous match, but today I saw it from the first minute to last minute and I am happy about that," Marjine told reporters.
"They make 21, 8 or 10 (goals), it does not matter to me. They have to be disciplined with passing, good positioning, the injection was good. We have to now concentrate on next match now."
The coach said he will let players have some good time tomorrow.
"The Games Village is very small and you can't do much. There is a beach closer by and I want to see them other environments. Next day we will train hard," he said.
Marijne said India has a long season so he will be careful with Rani but hoped she will be back in the next game.