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02-27-2012, 01:56 AM #1
Hurray! Indian men's hockey team storm Olympics after 8 years
An all-out attack from the Indian men's hockey team against France in the final match of the Olympic qualifiers on Sunday, paid rich dividends for the hosts as the team booked an Olympic berth for the first time in 8 years by defeating France 8-1.
From the starting seconds of play, the strategy of the Indians was simple: attack the opposition into submission. Lead by drag flicker Sandeep Singh’s five goals the Indians showcased hockey of the highest level putting the French team to the sword with tactical precision and lighting quick counter attacks.
India started the FIH Olympic qualifiers as favourites and stayed unbeaten before reaching the final at the Dhyan Chand stadium in Delhi. They took off in style against a lowly Singapore to drub them 15-1. Against a sorry Italy the scoreline read 8-1 in favour of the Indians. India didn’t sweat much to down the other finalist France 6-2. As expected, India faced the first test in the tournament against Canada but came good in the end. Poland at once threatened India by making an early breakthrough but the hosts toiled hard to beat them and avoided facing them in the final.
When it looked like they have sorted out the defensive flaws, there appeared fresh trouble in finishing. The match against Canada was a testimony to this latest mess. But when all thought it was rectified it haunted them against Poland as well. The bright spot is ace drag flicker Sandeep Singh’s rollicking form. He is the highest goal-scorer with 11 goals from five outings....being a human...