The golden days of Indian hockey seems to be returned. As eight-time Olympic champions are stormed back in the Games with a stunning victory of 8-1 over France in the final of the 2012 London Olympic men’s hockey qualifiers at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Sunday. India has clinched the title in a very grand fashion.
The 18th ranked French team was not able to compete in the final. India has shattered the European team’s London dreams.indian players rained the goals over opponent’s goal post. Sandeep Singh, who starred scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st). Birendra Lakra (17th), S.V. Sunil (43rd) and V.Raghunath (55th) scored goals one goal each. The Indians were right on the money with their game plan today as France found it impossible to counter the home team’s consistent attacks. The difference between the two teams can be gauged from the fact that both India and France earned as many as seven penalty corners each, but the visitors failed to utilise a single one while the hosts converted six.
Whole packed National Stadium was captured by “Sandeep Mania” Once known as the ‘enfant terrible’ of Indian hockey, Sandeep scripted the finest hour of his chequered international career as Michael Nobbs’ men thrashed France in the final of the qualification tournament. The Indian flag was being fluttered continuously in support of the team. The fans were supported and screamed every time the ‘man in blue’ run in with the ball into the rival camp and put the ball in goal post. A bunch of boys with the tri-colour painted in their chest cheered for every move the Indians made and fluttered the national flag.The crowd gave a standing ovation every time the players scored a goal and there was plenty of it in the match with India and France pumping three and one goals respectively in the first half itself.
It seems that India is taking back its kingdom in hockey after the decades.