24 July, Marlow (England)
Ajay Yadav and Varun Kumar scored a brace each as Indias junior mens hockey team beat Scotland 5-1 in the second encounter of their UK tour at the Bisham Abbey Sports Centre here on Sunday.
Ajay scored both of his goals inside the first 30 minutes as India went into the half-time with a 2-0 lead. Set-piece specialist Varun latter converted a penalty stroke and a penalty corner to make it 4-0 before Gurjant Singh’s field striker gave India a 5-0 victory.
Despite a quick beginning by the opponents, India weathered an early storm, defending a penalty corner smartly in the opening minutes before winning one of their own off a counter-attack. Parvinder Singh saw a chance go amiss and Varun shot wide from a penalty corner soon after.
India started controlling the game with much more determination as the quarter wore down and took the lead via a goal by Ajay.
With the hooter for the quarter very close, Indian goalkeeeper Suraj Karkera pulled off two smart saves, to deny Scotland the equaliser heading into the first break.
The saves were to prove crucial as India came out quicker in the second quarter, creating a flurry of chances in the opening exchanges. Ajay capitalised on some slack defending from Scotland to extend Indias lead to 2-0 heading into half-time.
India won a stroke early in the third quarter and Varun Kumar made no mistake from the spot firing India into a three-goal lead.
Desperate to reduce the scoreline, and the threat of a defeat imminent, Scotland started pushing forward in numbers and holding the ball in the midfield. Indias defence held strong though and the scoreline remained 3-0 heading into the final break.
The trend continued in the final quarter. A couple of quick penalty corners were smartly denied by Suraj in Indias goal, before Varun scored his second of the match to put any hopes of a Scotland comeback on hold.
With the game headed to the hooter, Gurjant added a fifth to Indias tally.
Scotlands William Marshall scored a goal in the dying minutes, but it proved to be little consolation as India ran out 5-1 winners to record their second victory of the tour.