Striker Mandeep Singh scored a hat-trick as India outplayed Canada 7-3 to book a summit clash berth in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Mandeep fired in three quick goals (20th, 27th and 29th minutes), all of them coming in the second quarter, after Varun Kumar had given India the lead in the 12th minute of the high-scoring match. Also Read - Olympic Gold is Ultimate Goal For All of us, Says Hockey Mid-Fielder Rajkumar Pal
At the half time, India were 4-0 up in the match before Canada reduced the margin through a strike from Mark Pearson in the 35th minute. Also Read - Indian Men's Hockey Team Should Aim For Medal, Shouldn't Just be Happy With Olympian Title: Vasudevan Baskaran
Amit Rohidas (39th), Vivek Prasad (55th) and Nilakanta Sharma (58th) struck later to take the game beyond the reach of the Canadians who scored two late goals through Fin Boothroyd (50th) and James Wallace (57th).
With the win, India continued their unbeaten run in the tournament, with three wins and a draw to top the round-robin league table with 10 points. They are now assured of a place in the final to be played on March 30, with a game in hand.
India play their final league match against Poland on Friday.
Korea are at second place with seven points while hosts Malaysia and Canada are on six points each ahead of their final league matches after a rest day on Thursday.
(With PTI Inputs)