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Sunday, February 28, 2010


What a match it turned out to be. 70 minutes of classic display and tension built match as India beat arch rivals Paks 4-1 on the inaugural day of Hero Honda FIH WC 2010 at New Delhi. It was indeed enthralling to see the match live on Ten sports.

Not many gave India an outside chance to win this match given the Paki domination on the field. The match was held amidst tight security and India could not have asked for a tougher start to the campaign in the 12 team format. After the Pak encounter, there would be a tough face off with Aussies.
The team led by Sandeep Singh had not been treated in the best possible manner but has a great resolve and grit as it appears. Whether it is Jose Brasa’s theories, strategies, permutations or good luck, only time would tell. Although these sides have played each other many a times, the stakes and tension is always high.

Pak has the premier drag flicker Sohail Abbas but not so tough deep defence. Our own specialist Sandeep Singh pierced Pak defence and struck twice and Prabhjot made his name written well again. It was Shivendra who drew first blood with the first goal of the match. Resuming after half time, Prabjhot’s goal made it 3-0 and later when Sohail struck to make it 1-4, the result was written all over. For one not so familiar with all the rules, today, Shivendra, Rajpal, Sandeep, Vikram Pillai, Prabhjot, Gurwinder Singh Chandi – all were impressive as also was the high class goal keeper Sreejesh Raveendran who played in the absence of first choice Adrian D Souza.

In the first match of the day, Spain beat south Africa and England beat Australia. Then came the sweetest of the victories for India over Pakistan.
I am rejoicing and pray that this goes long into this World Cup. Hoping to see a podium finish for India this time.

Regards – S Sampathkumar


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