India in Finals for against France(Men’s) and South Africa (Women’s)

Indian girls did wonderful a job in overcoming the defencive mode of their Italian counter-parts. As Italy needed a just draw to reach the finals of Olympic Qualifiers (to be played tomorrow at 8PM IST), whose winner will be play in London 2012, they played defencive and did not want to concede goals and attacked rarely. So India had to face a lot of resiliance from the Italians and this deadlock continued till the 55th minute of the game, when India’s Ritu Rani sent the ball in net on a high rebound from Italy’s Gaolkeeper’s pads on Jaspreet Kaur flick on a penalty corner. Italian players protested but Ritu Rani’s stick was not dangerously high. And, after having lead India, India had to do lot of work in defence as Italy was in attacking mode, but hosts kept attacking also. Though India conceded a penalty corner but Joydeep Kaur stood tall between the nets and fierce hit from Italy’s player and deflected it just wide with her stick. Indian women’s team game lacked the intensity initially, as they missed many opportunity which came their way, finally the hard work gave them the deserved win and a place in finals, a chance to play in Olympics after 32 years. Girls would take it both handed, should go all out against South Africa in the finals tomorrow at 8:00PM IST in Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, plus they will have crowd behind them.

South Africa Vs India in the Final of Hero FIH Road to London

South Africa Vs India in the Final of Hero FIH Road to London

Poland was tough nut to crack for India (already in the final, as France was held by Canada). Not only the Polish team took lead in 13th minute (PC goal by DUTKIEWICZ Tomasz), but also equalized (2-2) in 63rd minute through PC goal by JUSZCZAK Miroslaw. While India first levelled the score in 26th minute though a direct conversion of penalty by Sandeep Singh and they could take lead only in 59th minute through nicely worked pass Sarvanjit Singh to Shivendra Singh in front of Goal mouth, who neatly deflected it into the net. But 4 minutes later, Poland restored parity, which lasted on 90 seconds and India lead again (3-2) in 65th minute through an unstoppable flick by Raghunath on a penalty corner. Sandeep Singh converted the last PC, which they got at the stroke final hooter to make it 4-2.

24th February’s Results:
W13 UKR – POL 1 – 0 (1 – 0)           M13 ITA – SIN 4 – 0 (2 – 0)
W14 RSA – CAN 4 – 1 (1 – 1)            M14 FRA – CAN 1 – 1 (0 – 1)
W15 ITA – IND 0 – 1 (0 – 0)   M15 IND – POL 4 – 2 (1 – 1)  

 Fixtures of Qualification matches: Continue reading →

Indian Teams (Men and Women) Beat France (6-2) and Poland (3-0) Respectively

Both Men and Women Indian teams clinically outclassed their opponents in their respective matches against France and Poland. Men beat France by a margin of 6-2, while women won the match 3-0 with clean sheet. Experienced forward Shivendra Singh opened the account for India in 4th minute of the game in a eye pleasing move with one touch passes involving Tushar Khandekar and Sarvanjit Singh. Sandeep Singh scored next three goals in 9th, 30th and 37th Minute on two penalty corners and a penalty stroke (30th). In 39th minute, SV Sunil found the net after recieving a well judged and accurate pass from Shivendra Singh. India’s sixth and last goal came from a powerful of Tushar Khandekar, after collecting a pass on the go at the D-top from Sarvanjit Singh.

Sandeep Singh

Sandeep Singh

France scored both of their goals through penalty corner in 35th Minute(after the hooter of half time) and 57th minute through Lucas Sevestre and Fabien Magner. Indian team was dangerous in counter attacks, but showed some lack of tooth in finishing the moves.  For some moments mid-fielders from both the sides looked out of ideas, but defence did reasonable except few mistakes, like conceding soft penalty corner. Presence of any experienced mid-fielder like Gurbaj Singh, Arjun Halappa, VS Vinaya, Vikram Pillay or Bharat Chhikara, might have enhanced the peformance Indian team.

Continuing the good performance from last match, women’s team played brilliantly today and showed how to win game with combination of individual skills and team work with great presence of mind. The Rani trio of (Ritu Rani, Rani Ramphal and Poonam Rani) registered their names in the score sheet by outsmarting Poland defenders and Goalie NOWICKA Dominika.  Ritu Rani (14th minute), Rani Rampal (36th minute) and Rani Poonam (62nd minute) scored for India. The goal from Rani Rampal was treat to watch, quite similar to her yesterday’s goal against Canada, started off from dotted line from the base line on a free hit, weaved through the wall of defenders, umpire said play on, and showing great presence of mind, she did not waste time to control ball before dodging the goalie and pushed the ball on target from a baseline.

Jose Brasa Effect:

Ukraine’s women team being helped tactically by Indian men’s team former chief coach Jose Brasa, has performed reasonably well in holding the hosts for draw (1-1), beating Canada (5-2) but lost to tournament favorites South Africa (0-2).

In the mean while, lowly ranked Italy (W) held the tournament favorite South Africa for 1-1.

22nd February’s Fixtures:
W 10:00am UKR – ITA,       M 12:00pm POL – SIN
W 2:00pm CAN – POL ,        M 4:00pm ITA – FRA
W 6:00pm IND – RSA ,   M 8:00pm CAN – IND

W CAN – UKR 2 – 5 (1 – 2)           M SIN – CAN 1 – 15 (1 – 8 )
W ITA – RSA 1 – 1 (1 – 0)              M POL – ITA 7 – 2 (4 – 2)
W POL – IND 0 – 3 (0 – 1)    M FRA – IND 2 – 6 (1 – 3)

Men’s Points Table (3 Matches each team) Continue reading →