Favourites India stormed into the semifinals of the FIH Series Finals hockey meet as they thrashed Uzbekistan 10-0, in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Akashdeep Singh netted a hat-trick (11th, 26th and 53rd minute), while Varun Kumar (4th, 22nd minute) and Mandeep Singh (30th, 60th minute) scored a brace each for the hosts. Amit Rohidas (15th minute), Nilkanta Sharma (27th minute) and Gursahibjit Singh (45th minute) also sounded the board as the Indians had a field day.
India finished atop Pool A with an all-win record and will play the winner of the cross-over match between Japan and Poland in the semifinals on Friday, while the USA, which topped Pool B, will take on the winners of the other cross-over game between Russia and South Africa.
If the scoreline was anything to go by, it was a lopsided affair from the get-go. After five penalty corners, India took the lead in the final one with Varun converting it.
Akashdeep then got on the score-sheet as he found the net from a rebound in the 11th minute. Four minutes later, Rohidas converted a penalty corner to make the scoreline 3-0 in India's favour.
The story was no different in the second quarter as India netted four more goals to go into the breather with a 7-0 lead.
India dominated after the change of ends as well, but sounded the board only once in the third quarter when Gursahibjit guided the ball into the net in the 45th minute.
Akashdeep completed his treble before Mandeep netted another in the dying minutes to round off the rout.