Saturday, February 25, 2012

Team India makes to finals - Road to London


At Delhi, in the FIH road to London tournament, all that India needed was a draw to qualify for the finals.  The other match between Canada and France ended in 1-1 draw.  Italy won its first points against Singapore in a meaningless match. 

Against Poland, it was the story of many near misses and missed heart-beats as the match was not as comfortable as the final scoreline.  Shivendra Singh’s deflection helped our first goal, soon Poland had a penalty corner converted by Miroslaw Juszczak to tie the score again at 2-2!  Raghunath Vokkaliga Ramachandra replaced Sandeep Singh on the next penalty-corner and gave back the lead to India.  Finally it was a  win for India (4-2) -  France  stayed ahead of Poland in the standings. The Final will therefore be between India and France; Player of the Match was Mariusz Chyla, goal-keeper for Poland.

Now India need to win in the Finals to qualify for the London Olympics; earlier Women’s team  beat Italy to enter the finals – So, both the teams are just one win away for that coveted slot in London Olympics.

All the Best to our Teams to win a Medal in Olympics in Hockey after many years !

Downunder, Srilanka with their win in Hobart have thrown open the predictions and now all the Teams have a theoretical chance to enter the finals – simply none have qualified for the Finals at this stage.  Sri Lanka have 15 points from their 6; Australia have 14 and India lowly placed with 10.

Lankans might be out, if India win their last two and if they lose to Aussies in their last match.  They would also lose if they lose both and concede a bonus point alos to India.   Australia has tasted consequent defeats against Sri Lanka – a solitary win would take them through – but if they happen to lose both against India and Lanka, then they would see far off Nations playing the Finals at their home land.

It is only a theoretical chance for India – they have to win both their matches; if they lose to Aussies they need to defeat Lankans and gain a bonus point too.

So 3 more matches and then 3 finals – will Team India resurge !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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