Indian Girls’ Journey to their First Silver at 6th Jr Asia Cup (Women’s)

India was led to their first Silver Medal at the Junior Women’s Asia Cup by experienced mid-fielder Ritu Rani, with forward Poonam Rani as her deputy (Team Details) in the 6th edition of the tournament, which was played in Bangkok, Thailand.

Final Standings of the tournament are as following:
1. China, 2. India, 3. Korea, 4. Japan, 5. Malaysia, 6. Thailand, 7. Sri Lanka, 8. Pakistan, 9. Singapore and 10. Kazakhstan (All Results of 6th Women’s Jr Asia Cup, Bangkok Thailand)

Ritu Rani

File Photo: Ritu Rani

India defeated Sri Lanka and Singapore 16-0 and 9-0 respectively, before losing to eventual Champions China 2-5. Then India overcame stiff Malaysian competition and defeated them (2-1) to reach Semi Finals and took the 2nd placed after China who won all of their games in Pool A (Detailed Article: India Vs Japan and Korea vs China in the Semis of Jr Asia Cup (Women’s)). Continue reading →

India manage to defeat South Africa 6-5, after Leading 5-1

South Africa lost narrowly (6-5) to India which saw their spirited fight back in Second Half after trailing 3-1 at Half Time and 5-1 till 43rd minute of a 11-goal thriller game in their first of three unofficial Tests in Santander, Spain.

Bharat Chetri

File Photo: Bharat Chetri (Captain India)

The Team India opened accounts in the 12th minute of the game though South Africa was better in possession in the opening. South Africans were back in the game once as they started attacking in search for an equalizer. 5 Minutes after India’s goal, Indian Goalkeeper and Captain Bharat Chetri earned yellow card for himself and a penalty stroke for South Africa with hard tackle on Marvin Harper, which Lloyd Madsen converted easily to level the scores.

India’s Dharamvir Singh scored two goals in quick succession on counters after turn overs in mid-field to earn 3-1 lead for India before the lemon break. Continue reading →

India beat France 4-0 to Win Test Series 2-0 as Pradhan Sommanna and Nithin Thimmiah Debut

Olympic bound Indian team started their last outing before the Games on high note, when they outclassed the French team to win 2 match test series with 2-0. India won the first match on green surface 8-2, while defeated France in 2nd Match 4-0 on blue surface (similar to Riverbank Arena, London Olympics Venue for Hockey) in Lille, France.

Debutants Pradhan Sommanna and Nithin Thimmaiah

Debutants Pradhan Sommanna and Nithin Thimmaiah

Indian outfit continued their Hero FIH Road to London (Men), Delhi 2012’s form where India defeated France 6-2 and 8-1 in League Stage and Finals respectively.

In the first test match of the series, it was France who drew first blood through Fabien Magner, but India did not take much time to equalize through young SK Uthappa. Sandeep Singh earned the lead for India and Gurvinder Singh Chandi doubled it to 3-1. Arnaud Becuwe reduced the margin for margin on penalty corner in the dying minutes of first half. Continue reading →

As Team India takes off to Europe

Team India takes off : The Indian Hockey team is ready to board the plane for France to play two matches, and then travel to Spain for a 3 Nation Tournament, before reaching the Olympics Village in London. After booking their ticket to London by defeating France (8-1) in the Hero FIH Road to London (Men), Delhi 2012 in February, the team has been preparing hard for the Olympics. The tour of France and Spain will be the last outing of the team in the run up to the Games.

Indian Hockey Olympic Team

Indian Hockey Olympic Team (Credits: Rohan Jawale)

During the tour, India will play two test matches against France in Lille on 28 and 30 June 2012. The team will then travel to play two test matches each against Spain and South Africa from 5- 11th of  July 2012 at Santander, Spain, before taking part in a 3 Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament at the same venue (Detailed Schedule of the tour can be found here). Continue reading →

India vs Pakistan: Should Collaborate and Fight it out Together

Is India vs Pakistan game that big? One India Vs Pakistan match changes the value of tournament itself in terms of viewership, news coverage and hype, but does it matter for India and Pakistan when they finish in lower half of the standings in the tournament? Or it matters for their rivalry and pride.

India Pakistan FlagsWhat makes me sad is current the situation of hockey in both countries Pakistan and India and we are happy wining against each others, rather than focusing on regaining our status of power houses. We (India and Pakistan) have abilities to excel and reach the heights of past glory again, but why are not we able to, even after trying different combinations of foreign coaches, young/experienced/mixed squads and/or traditional attacking/European style of play? Because, we do not have a leader who can lead us till the top and has capability to arrest our fall which generally happens after rising upto a certain level. I feel we can not find it outside somewhere, rather we will have to look for it within ourselves. Continue reading →

India’s 50th Win Against Pakistan

India defeated arch-rival Pakistan 2-1 in its last pool of the 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2012 at Ipoh, Malaysia. This is India’s 50th win against Pakistan. Sandeep Singh scored India’s first goal in 31st minute and right forward SV Sunil scored the winner goal in 69th minute of the match, i.e. India’s 290th goal against Pakistan. For Pakistan, only Sohail Abbas could registered his name on score board.

SV Sunil

SV Sunil Caricature

“If Pakistan beat Great Britain and Malaysia beat Argentina with the margin of 2 or more goals in their last league matches, then only India will be final against New Zealand on Sunday, in any other case India will be playing for Bronze, but opponent could one of Argentina, Great Britain, Korea and Malaysia.”

The match was goal-less and slow until 31st minute, when India’s ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh found the target on a penalty. Few minutes after the lemon break, match started gaining pace and Pakistan attacked on when India went in defending mode. Pakistan’s skipper and veteran drag-flicker Sohail Abbas scored in 61st with a grounder flick through the pads of Indian captain and goalkeeper Bharat Chetri. And match came to life again with both the teams attacking for winner goal in the dying moment. Beauty of the was in 69th minute, when India’s Birendra Lakra (awarded Man of the Match later) tackled near baseline and launched counter attack by throwing the ball to SK Uthappa in left mid field, who picked up the ball moved forward before dropping off the ball for Sardar Singh to his right, then Sardar Singh located fast paced SV Sunil wandering freely in Pakistani semi-circle and passed to him. SV Sunil did rest of the job by going through the charging goalie of Pakistan and sent the ball in goal post while diving forward to win the game for India.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2012 Points Table Till 31st May (Results Here): Continue reading →