In a dominating performance, Indian men's hockey team walloped Russia 7-1 to secure a spot in next year's Tokyo Olympics. The final scoreline reflects the dominance of India in the game but it doesn't show the resilience and spirit of a Russian team that took the lead in the first half-minute of the game.
For India, the second game of the FIH Olympic qualifiers saw two goals each from Rupinder Pal Singh, through penalty corners, and Akashdeep Singh, as well as one each by Nilkanta Sharma, Lalit Upadhyay and Amit Rohidas.
The match started with a shocker as Alexey Sobolevskiy scored the first goal of the match in the very first minute. India recovered from this early setback but they had to wait till the second quarter to get level with their opponents.
But as expected, once the equaliser was achieved, Indian side started to assert themselves in the game. Akashdeep scored two goals to take India into the mid-game break 3-1 ahead.
To their credit, the Russian team never fell apart and kept fighting. But the greater experience and skill set of India started to come to fore as the side in blue jersey kept scoring at regular intervals.
After failing to convert any of their penalty corners yesterday, Rupinder Pal managed two goals from the set piece while Amit Rohidas also chipped in with one with few seconds remaining on the clock to complete a good win in the FIH Olympic qualifiers. The aggregate score of the two matches was 11-3 in India's favour.