After four decades Indian men hockey enters into semis in the Olympics. The national team defeated Great Britain 3-1, marking its victory straight to the semifinals.
Thanks to Dilpreet Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Hardik Singh for scoring goals for India. The achievement has come after a long wait of four decades. Winning this game team India came to a step closer to win gold in the sport.
India, being the famed hockey team that won eight golds so far in the sport, was awaiting such a victory for decades. Manpreet Sandhu and his squad sealed victory scoring goals through Dilpreet Singh at 7′, Gurjant Singh at 16′ and Hardik Singh at 57′. While Sam Ward scored the lone goal for the opponent team at 45′.
India will now face world champions Belgium in the semifinal on Tuesday.
India has a remarkable history in the sport. From 1928 to 1956, India won six consecutive golds in the most anticipated games. It was 1980 in Moscow when the last gold was named after India, at that time only six teams played at the event and there were no semifinals. The national team played the last semis in 1972 (Munich) against its arch-rival Pakistan and lost 0-2.
For a country like India, which is home to legendary players like Major Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh Sr. to name a few, such a long wait isn’t that exciting. The pain was inevitable.
In another match, Belgium triumph over Spain 3-1 in the quarterfinal and made their way to the semis.
In another semifinal match, Australia will face Germany.
With today’s accomplishment, India now stands a 5-4 win-loss record against Great Britain in the Olympic Games.
As soon as India won the match, Twitter got inundated with appreciation messages. Among them, a few renowned were hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay, BCCI secretary Jay Shah, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore and others joined the queue congratulating the national team.
India Squad: P.R. Sreejesh (GK); Manpreet Singh (C), Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh