Same outcome in the re-match

by Dil Bahra
25 June 2017

For the second time in a space of a week, India showed their class and had a convincing 6 - 1 win over arch rivals Pakistan.

This time there was no big hype, the weather was much cooler, fewer spectators. And it was not played in the shadows of their cricket counterparts.

The difference of the two sides was clear to see. India, wounded from their surprise defeat against Malaysia a couple of days earlier, attacked from the start and showed their intent. Ramandeep Singh's early goal settled any nerves.

India showed their class when, in the second period, in a space of four minutes they scored three goals.  Talwinder Singh scoring the first of the three and  Akashdeep Singh scoring the second. (This goal was credited to Mandeep Singh on the official result sheet).  Ramandeep Singh added his  second to give India a  commanding 4 - 0 lead at half time.

Harmanpreet Singh made it 5 - 0 from his second penalty corner. Ajaz Ahmed  scored Pakistan's only goal near the end of the third quarter.

India forwards enjoyed the freedom and spaces created and could have scored another three goals from clear chances.

Mandeep Singh completed India's scoring with his goal a couple of minutes before the end to make it 6 - 1.

With 9.8 seconds left on the clock, following a video referral,  India were awarded a penalty corner. An opportunity to match the scoreline of last Sunday was on line but missed.

Sikh players scored all India's six goals in this match and six of the seven in the earlier encounter.


India’s first win over Pakistan in London

by Dil Bahra
19 June 2017

India finally beat Pakistan 7 - 1 in a match played in London yesterday, having lost their previous two encounters in the capital.

At their first encounter, at Lords Cricket Ground on 21 October 1967, in front of a 12,000 crowd, Pakistan won by the only goal of the match scored by Tariq Aziz.  India team (11 players - no substitutes in those days), at this Pre-Olympic Tournament, was captained by Gurbax Singh included   seven Sikh players, namely Jagjit Singh; Harmik Singh; Balbir Singh ‘Railways'; Harbinder Singh; Inder Singh and Joginder Singh.

At their last appearance, for the wooden spoon match, at the 6th World Cup in Willesdon, London, on 17 October 1986 Pakistan won by 3 - 2  in extra time. Qazi Mohib-ur-Rehman, Kalee Mullah and Nasir Ali scoring for Pakistan and Mohinder Pal Singh scoring a brace for India. India's team (12 players - one substitute used) included four Sikh players, namely Pargat Singh; Hardip Singh; Mohinder Pal Singh and Balwinder Singh.

India were at their best on this occasion and their recent form showed. A 7 - 1 winning margin was their best result in the 168 encounters that they have played against Pakistan which started at the Final of Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Six of the seven goals were scored by Sikh players - Harmanpreet Singh; Talwinder Singh and Akashdeep Singh scoring two goals each. Pardeep Mor scored India's other goal and Muhammad Umar Bhutta scoring Pakistan's only goal.

India's team, led by Manpreet Singh included ten Sikh players in the squad of eighteen, namely Harmanpreet Singh; Sardar Singh; Mandeep Singh; Talwinder Singh; Harjeet Singh; Satbir Singh; Akashdeep Singh; Jasjit Singh Kular and Ramandeep Singh.


Canadian Sikh Brothers take on the Indians

by Dil Bahra
18 June 2017

Brothers Sukhpal (Sukhi) Singh and Balraj Singh Panesar were in the Canadian line-up that lost 0 - 3 to India at the Hero Hockey World League semi-Final match at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London yesterday.

Both brothers, born in Surrey, B C, Canada, play for United Brothers Field Hockey Club.

Sukhi, 23, earned his first international cap when he was selected to represent Canada against Brazil in Brampton, Canada on 10.03.2013. He represented Canada at Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has earned 89 caps.

Younger brother Balraj, 21, earned his first senior international cap when he was selected to play against Mexico in Mexico City on 03.06.2014. He represented Canada at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in 2013 and Uttar Pradesh in 2016. He has 13 caps.

The Canadians were put under pressure in the first half where they conceded all the three goals. Sunil Sowmarpet, Akashdeep Singh and Sardar  Singh scoring the goals.

Just 24 hours earlier, Canada had beaten Pakistan 6 - 0 and playing two games in such a short turnover in the heat took its toll. India had the luxury of having had a complete day's rest.

"India had more ball possession and we were chasing the game" said Sukhi Panesar. He added "Always hard to play back to back games"


Ramandeep, Akashdeep and Harmanpreet score for India

by Dil Bahra
16 June 2017

Two goals in three minutes by Ramandeep Singh at the start of the third period  ensured that India made a winning 4 - 1 start at the Hero Hockey World League semi-Final match against Scotland at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London yesterday.

Scotland had taken the lead through Chris Grassick in the sixth minute following their first attack on the Indian goal.

India came back strongly after half time. Ramandeep scored the first of his two goals with a reverse stick shot from the top of the circle and followed up with his second two minutes later. Akashdeep Singh added the third six minutes and Harmanpreet Singh scored from India's only penalty corner. All four of India's goals were scored in the third period.

India's team which was led by Manpreet Singh  included ten Sikh players.

India Team: Harmanpreet Singh; Akash Chikte (G/K); Kothajit Khadangbam; Surender Kumar; Manpreet Singh (Capt); Sardar Singh; Mandeep Singh; Sumit; Vikas Dahiya (G/K); Talwinder Singh; Harjeet Singh; Pardeep Mor; Sunil Sowmarpet; Satbir Singh; Akashdeep Singh; Jasjit Singh Kular; Chinglensana Kangujam; Ramandeep Singh.