sports
By PTI | 10:40 AM June 19, 2017
Hockey World League Semi-Final: India beat Pakistan 7-1, wear black armbands to protest Army deaths

Highlights

  • On Sunday two sporting teams from India had divided the attention of the nation – cricket and hockey
  •  Incidentally, both matches were against Pakistan
  • The India hockey team wore black armbands during their match against Pakistan as a sign of respect for Army martyrs

In the semi-final of the Hero Hockey World League, India thrashed Pakistan 7-1. While in cricket, India was thrashed by Pakistan and our neighbouring country picked up the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

A clinical India demolished a hapless Pakistan 7-1 to register their third consecutive victory and seal a place in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League Semi-Final.. It was a complete performance by the Indians who dominated their arch-rivals throughout the match to post a facile win and zoom to the top of Pool B ahead of The Netherlands.

Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh (13th minute, 33rd), Talwinder Singh (21st, 24th), Akashdeep Singh (47th, 59th) and Pradeep Mor (49th) scored for India at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, while Pakistan's consolation goal came from the stick of Muhammad Umar Bhutta (57th).

India are atop Pool B with three wins from as many games, just ahead of The Netherlands, who are placed second. Pakistan, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the pool after losing all three matches they have played so far. India will next play The Netherlands on Tuesday, while Pakistan will face Scotland on Monday.

Any sporting match between India and Pakistan is fraught with tension and there are a lot of political undercurrents to it. The India hockey team on Sunday wore black armbands during their match against Pakistan to condole the deaths of martyrs in the recent attacks on the Indian army. The Indian team support staff also wore the black arm bands.

The hockey fraternity in India has always been vocal about the pride and respect it has for the Indian soldiers and always condemned such barbaric acts. The players have often taken to social media to show their condolences for the martyrs of the country.

In fact, PR Sreejesh had dedicated the team’s victory at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy to the soldiers, where they beat Pakistan in the final. "The players of the Indian hockey teams have always shown tremendous belief and support for the Indian Armed Forces who guard the safety of our nation. They are proud of the nation’s soldiers and are often inspired by their dedication and sacrifice," said Mohd Mustaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India.

"As sportsmen, the Indian hockey teams have always shown solidarity and compassion towards the soldiers and have often dedicated their victories to the Indian Army. Today, the team strongly felt the need to condole the recent attacks carried out in Jammu & Kashmir where Indian soldiers lost their lives. It was a unanimous decision to wear black arm bands to condole these deaths and they wish for peace to prevail in the state of Jammu & Kashmir," he added.

Captain Manpreet Singh said: "We wanted to win on the field today to show not only our proud nation but all the world that we will stand up and fight for what we believe in through sport."

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