The stadium was thumping with the highest decibel of heartbeats and all seats were unoccupied because the spectators were on their feet cheering and waving and clapping and screaming. This was the Finals of the Olympic Qualifiers of the Men’s Hockey Team, in New Delhi.
India thrashed France as they get their golden ticket to the Olympics with a pumped up game that ended with a 8-1 score. Sandeep Singh was the star player of the match, scoring 5 goals on his own and making the win more smoother, more entertaining and more easy but nonetheless it was a team effort on the whole.
The Major Dhyanchand National Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday was packed with people on top of their toes and giving it all the voice they had for a brilliant performance by the men in blue in white. India has been unbeaten the entire tournament. The support from the home crowd, the exceptional play by the players and the mentor-ship of a great coach, India was already shining all the way.
They missed the chance to qualify for the Beijing Olympics four years ago but they have erased all those memories with a spectacular show.
India made the first two goals with ease. France then scored their first later. But then it was India all the way. They stretched the score to 8 and left France with their 1 all through the end. There was an appeal by Sandeep Singh during the first half however it was overruled, but this did not affect the momentum of the game at all as the Men were all in their highest enthusiastic self and raring to go.
India took full advantage of all the penalty corners they had. They did miss the first one they had but from then on, they were all taken! Raghunath took the score to 8 with a penalty corner in the 56th minute. The fourth and fifth goals were scored in flashed by Sandeep Singh in the 49th and 51st minute. That had already crushed France right there. He managed to score around 16 goals in the entire tournament.
The ball control was almost always with India and with the coach jotting down points, he was a happy man at the end of it all.
And now the country awaits to see their zestful performance in the 2012 Olympics and make them proud!