India equaled the record for maximum number of goals in the history of Asia Cup, as they thrashed Sri Lanka 20-nil in their pool B league match of the BSNL Asian Continental Hockey Championship in Chennai at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Saturday.
India kept the goodly Saturday crowd thoroughly enthralled as a total of eight players featured in the amazing effort with striker Prabhjot Singh leading the onslaught with five goals. The winners led 10-nil at half-time.
The previous record for maximum number of goals is held jointly by Malaysia and Pakistan. Malaysia defeated Thailand 20-0 in the Hiroshima (Japan) edition in November 1993 while Pakistan also thrashed Thailand by identical margin in the same year.
In the other highlight of the second day's play, former champions Pakistan were shocked by Japan 1-3 in their Pool A league match.
Earlier, in two other high-scoring matches, Malaysia defeated Hong Kong 13-1 in Pool A while Korea swamped Thailand 16-0 in Pool B.
Putting up a good team effort, the hosts, who toiled before managing to pull off a 1-0 win against China in their group opener last night, showed opportunism in pouncing on the 50th ranked Sri Lankans to increase their goal tally. Infact, the day's goal aggregate stood at 60.
Prabjoth Singh, Shivendra Singh, Tushar Kandeker and S V Sunil tormented the rival defence making foray after foray and tasted success on most occasions. It was a lovely sight to see the strikers at the right spot to receive the measured passes and convert them with ease.
The Sri Lankans, who were thrashed 12-2 by Korea in the first pool match, offered no resistance and were hardly seen in the Indian half.
India got into action from the word go, and forced a penalty corner in the very first minute, which they converted to go up 1-0. Prabodh Tirkey's shot sailed into the net after kissing the stick of Lankan goalkeeper Jayasooriya, who had a tough time throughout. He did pull off some superb saves late in the match.
Thereafter the Indians never stopped, and scored goals at a brisk pace making it a nightmare for the statisticians.
After Ignace Tirkey put India on the threshold of the record, scoring the 19th goal in the dying minutes, Rajpal Singh found the 20th goal just before the hooter went off.
The scorers for India were: Prabodh Tirkey (1), Shivendra Singh (3) Tushar Khandekar (3), Prabhjot Singh (5), Raghunath (3), S.V.Sunil (2), Ignace Tirkey (2) and Rajpal Singh (1).