Indian Hockey back in Olympics with a bangFeb 27, 2012 | Pratirodh Bureau
Indian men\\\’s hockey team returned to Olympics as they defeated France 8-1 in the final of the qualifier.
India made up to the slight of missing the 2008 beijing Olympics by playing an attacking brand of hockey.
The players were determined not to repeat the 2008 blunder this time and toyed with the French defence throughout the 70 minutes to score the goals.
Penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh scored five of the seven goals. With the dominating performance he also emerged as the highest scorer of the Olympics qualification tournament with 16 goals.
The rout started with Birendra Lakra\\\’s field goal in the 17th minute after which it was a one man show as Sandeep (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st) converted five successive penalty corners for India to floor France.
S V Sunil (43rd) and V R Raghunath (56th) were the other goal-getters for the hosts, while Simon Martin-Brisac (24th) scored the consolation goal for France.
The credit for the victory goes to methodical approach, fitness and rock solid self belief of the team, coached by Michael Nobbs.
Nobbs, who worked tremendously hard on the players, watched proudly as his boys ripped apart the French team with furry.
The Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium erupted with joy when the players took the victory lap to thank the crowd for the support.
The players laughed, cried and hugged each other as they were realising every passing moment that "Yes we have done it..!!"