Pakistan hockey team pummels Bangladesh 7-0

Australia and New Zealand are among the three nations competing at the Oceania Cup

Looking to retain the No.1 rank in the Asian hockey, Manpreet Singh-led Indian men's hockey team has begin its Asia Cup campaign, facing Japan in the tournament opener in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 22nd minute, Lalit Upadhyay executed some world class ball play and scored a brilliant goal, putting India ahead again.

"We did not play a good match against Pakistan and made a lot of mistakes that led them to score so many goals. I believe we can do better but this was our first match and now that the team is done with shaking off the initial jitters, I think we can focus on improved performance in the next game", stated India's Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

"We matched them until half-time, but after that, my players did not have the fitness to compete", said Aikman. After they did dominate the midfield and created enough to have the Japanese keep a set of defenders who refused to make offensive moves.

"Manpreet Singh, captain of the Indian side, explained that it wasn't out of the ordinary to play a match under a new national coach but did say that 'a win was important for India and we are happy to achieve it". SV Sunil (3rd minute), Lalit Upadhyay (22'), Ramandeep Singh (33') and Harmanpreet Singh (35', 48') found the target for India, who started the match with aggressive intent. "But once they got down to business, the goals came", said Marijne.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Rashel Mahmud said his team will have to put up a much better performance against India if they want to give any fight to their fancied opponents.

In the other match of the day, Pakistan will take on hosts Bangladesh in Pool A. "Hopefully the results will be in Pakistan's favour", he said.

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