New Delhi: Danish Mujtaba scored a brace as India came from behind to beat a gritty Bangladesh 5-1 in their final round robin match and qualify for the third round of the Hero Hockey World League at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
     
Danish (15th minute, 64th) starred for India with two field goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (32nd), Akashdeep Singh (50th) and Malak Singh (58th) also sounded the board once each for the hosts in their final match of the Hockey World League Round 2.
     
But it was Bangladesh who surprised the Indians when Md Mamunur Rahman Chayan scored opening goal of the match in the fifth minute.
     
By virtue of this win, India has topped the men’s competition with 15 point from five wins, three points clear of second-placed Ireland, who also progressed to the Hockey World League Round 3, a qualifying tournament for next year’s FIH World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands.
     
But against Bangladesh, the Indians were nowhere near to their best in the opening half as they looked off-colour in all departments of the game.
     
The 11th ranked Indians came into the match high on confidence with four convincing wins under their belt, but they didn't look dominating as they should have been, at least in the opening 35 minutes.
     
The Indians struggled with penalty corners as they utilized just one of the seven short corners that came their way.
     
Vice captain and ace drag-flicker V R Raghunath looked a pale shadow of himself today as he failed to convert a single penalty corner into goal.
     
Credit should also go to Bangladesh who produced a lion-hearted performance against the mighty Indians.

(Agencies)

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