- In a decimated Russia 7-1 in their second Olympics qualifier to reserve their entry in Tokyo Olympics.
- With this, Indian team has qualified for 21sttime in Olympics, only missing the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- India made 11-3 win in the qualifier.
The game didn’t start as per expectations as the team was down by two goals , after losing the first game of the qualifiers by 2-4 on Friday. Russian Player Alexey Sobolevsky’s strike gave India a major shock. But for next 59 minutes, Russia’s attempts to score were crushed by the Indian team. The icing on the cake for the crowd was local by Amit Rohindas scoring the final goal in team’s 7-1 win.
Indian team comprised of Manpreet Singh( C), Surendar Kumar, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Rupinder Pal Singh, Nilkantha Sharma , Krishna Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Sunil Sowmarpet, Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Indian team’s 11 goals against Russian team’s 3 booked berth for the Indian team in Tokyo Olympics.
India remained anxious for 16 minutes after Russia scored, when Lalit Upadhyay, in the 17thminute levelled the game. Akashdeep Singh made all the players forget the bad memories of their first match by scoring 2 goals one at 23rdminute and other at 29thminute, leading India by 2 goals in first half.
In the third quarter, the team wasn’t able to score any goals. Then Nilkantha Sharma scored a goal in 47thminute and then drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh came to his own with two penalty- corner conversions in 48thand 59thminute respectively.
The winning streak on penalty was 3/6 when Rohindas culminated the last rites to flick in India’s final goal, which was followed by the sound of hooter and shouting of hockey fans in the stadium.
Indian women had also put up a gutsy show by defeating USA with 6-5. The team outplayed USA by 5-1 in the first leg on Friday.
As the evening came to an end at Kalinga stadium, both the teams had registered their places in Tokyo Olympics. The Olympics will be held from July 25 to August 7 in Tokyo.