Prabhjot slams three in India’s big win at hockey qualifiers

March 2nd, 2008 - 1:21 pm ICT by admin  


Santiago (Chile), March 2 (IANS) Prabhjot Singh spearheaded a superb 8-0 win for India in their opening match of the Olympic qualifiers at the Prince of Wales stadium. Prabhjot scored three goals, as India lead 4-0 at half time and closed the match in style with four more in second half. In the other matches, the highest ranked team Great Britain trounced Mexico 11-0 and later in the day Austria defeated hosts Mexico 4-3.

With a good crowd waiting for them to turn up on the field, the Indian team did not disappoint them with a skilful display that fetched them four goals in either half Saturday.

The Russians did manage to keep the Indians at bay for almost quarter of an hour but after that the Indians were on the offensive all the way.

The Russians were far too inexperienced to prevent the Indians from going on a scoring spree. The Russian goalkeeper, Roman Rogov, did his best to keep the scoring in check. The Russians hardly got any chance to reduce the margin.

With Diawakar Ram not in the side, India tried different combinations on penalty-corners.

Indian Coach Joaquim Carvalho was happy with his team performance. He did admit that they were worried before the game because they knew very little of their opponents.

“It doesn’t matter who you score against, it is important for a forward to score goals,” said Carvalho, adding that it was important to start with a big win in the first match.

The Indians were on the attack from the word go and the inexperienced Russian defence was always under siege. Dilip Tirkey, the most experienced player in the tournament, appearing in his 364th international for India, opened the scoring when he converted a penalty corner in the 14th minute.

Five minutes later Sardar Singh put an unmarked Prabhjot through and the latter made no mistake. Prabhjot added to the tally in the 29th minute, after missing another a couple of minutes earlier.

The second goal for Prabhjot was created by Rajpal Singh, who initiated a good run and then passed to the former to shoot home.

Five minutes before interval Shivendra Singh made it 4-0 after pouncing on the ball in the mid-field and working his way past three defenders and scoring with a reverse flick.

On resumption, Tushar Khandekar helped Sardar Singh add to the tally. Tushar wove through the right flank and gave it to Sardar in the penalty area and he made no mistake to make it 6-0.

Penalty corner specialist V.R. Raghunath scored the seventh goal and then Prabhjot made it 8-0 five minutes before the long whistle.

Britain, one of the two favourites for the final qualification, seemed to have an easy opener against a young and inexperienced Mexico. Still they took 15 minutes to score their first goal by Simon Mantell. His brother Richard added one a few minutes later on the British second penalty-corner.

Mexico managed to hold their own for the first half restricting them to just two goals.

In the second half, the British increased their lead comfortably. The goals came from Stephen Dick, Richard Alexander, Simon Mantell, Barry Middleton, Matt Daly (2), Rob Moore, Ashley Jackson and James Tindall.

For hosts Chile, all three goals came skipper Felipe Montegu. It was Chile who opened the scoring in the first minute. But Georg Jelink (20th) and Tobias Hubner ensured Austria ended the first half in lead.

In second half Elmar Stremitzer (42nd); Benjamin Stanzl (44th) scored within two minutes if each other to make it 4-1. Montegu reduced the margin with goals in 46th and 64th minute but then time ran out for the hosts.

Results and scorers:
Great Britain-Mexico 11- 0 (HT: 2-0)
Scores: 13mn Simon Mantell (13th, 51st); Richard Mantell (23rd); Stephen Dick (47th); Richard Alexander (50th); Barry Middleton (54th); Matt Daly (57th and 68th); Rob Moore (61st); Ashley Jackson (63rd); James Tindall (70th)

India-Russia 8-0 (HT: 4-0)
Scorers: Dilip Tirkey (14th); Prabhjot Singh (19th, 29th, 65th); Shivendra Singh (30th); Tushar Khandekar (36th); Sardar Singh (45th); V.R. Raghunath (54th);

Chile-Austria 3:4 (1:2)
Chile: Felipe Montegu (1st, 46th and 64th)
Austria: Georg Jelinek (20th); Tobias H

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