Hockey Olympic qualifiers: Indian men book Olympic ticket with an easy win
The Indian men’s hockey team booked their ticket to the Tokyo Olympics with a crushing 7-1 win over Russia in the 2nd leg of the Olympic qualifiers played at Kalinga Stadium, Bhuvneshwar on Saturday.
Russia got off to a perfect start as Alexey Sobolevskiy caught the Indian defence napping with a brilliant field goal in the first 22 seconds of the game.
India made positive moves with aggressive intent and started making life tough for the Russian defence. Simranjeet Singh got a perfect chance of scoring a goal, but the shot went above the post. At the end of first quarter, Russia led 1-0.
The second quarter was off to a brilliant start as a powerful shot by Lalit Upadhyay went into goal, making it 1-1 in the 17th minute. In the 23rd minute, India earned a penalty corner and a rebound shot by Akashdeep Singh made it 2-1.
The Indian forwards played aggressive hockey and put consistent pressure on the Russian defence. Akashdeep Singh produce a brilliant field shot inside the D in the 29th minute to give India a 3-1 lead. At the end of the first half, India led 3-1.
In the third quarter, the Indian team continued their aggressive approach and did not relent on the attack. Both teams had chances of scoring goals, but could not make it.
India started the fourth and final quarter on an aggressive note as Nilakanta Sharma hit a brilliant shot inside the circle and beat the Russian goalkeeper with pace in the 47th minute.
India earned a penalty corner in the next minute and Rupinder Pal Singh converted it into a goal to make it 5-1 in favour of the hosts.
It was a completely dominating game by India added with an aggressive intent. In the 59th minute, Rupinder Pal Singh scored again from a penalty corner to give the hosts a 6-1 lead. Just before the hooter, India earned a penalty corner and Amit Rohidas converted it into a goal to make it 7-1.
India won this match by 7-1 and 11-3 on aggregate. The Indian men’s and women’s team will travel to Tokyo Olympics which is a great boost for Indian sports.