By Rajinder Pal Devgan
HANGZHOU, 7 Oct: India’s Hockey team has had a roller coaster ride in the last decade.They have promised much but delivered little. In the last Asian Games in Jakarta they most unbelievably lost to Japan in the final after having thrashed them in a Pool match. Would history repeat itself?
The final in Hangzhou started on a brisk note. India got a few chances but were unable to convert them into a goals.
First Quarter went goalless.
In the second quarter Manpreet got hold of the ball on the left of the goal and with a screaming reverse shot put India one up 1-0.
India kept up the pressure and in the 32nd minute India’s Captain Harmanpreet Singh made it 2-0. India started to dominate the game and goals by Amit 36th minute and Abhishek 48th minute made it 4-0. Just when everyone thought it was all over for Japan they fought with their backs to the wall and put one back scoring in the 51st minute through Tanaka. One thought maybe, just maybe, Japan may score again to get back into the match. But it was not to be. The Indian Captain Harmanpreet Singh put the final nail in the coffin scoring in the 59 th minute to make it 5-1.
Final score now was in favour of India, a comfortable 5-1.
Throughout the tournament this Indian Hockey team has looked superior. This win qualifies them, most deservedly, for the Paris Olympics.
The Hangzhou Asian games according to many, who have witnessed many Olympics and Asian Games, is the finest by far.
100 medals for India in these Asian Games, at one time, seemed rather ambitious but come tomorrow India should be past the century mark.
Absolutely incredible performance by our Sportsmen, hats off to them.