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Berlin score for India for London Tour (2/26/2012)
--K. Arumugam
Berlin score for India for London Tour

What a score! What an occasion.

India struck eight goals against one by France in the Olympic Qualifier final on Sunday. In 1936, India displayed the same 8-1 in the Berlin amphitheatre in the famously known as Hitler Olympics.

That has changed the Indian hockey sport for once, and the Delhi's famous Irwin Amphitheatre too now sport a mutational change for Indian hockey.

The significance of the Berlin scoreline repeat in Delhi in a stadium named after a member of that colonial India squad, Dhyan Chand, cannot be lost out .

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Berlin was peak performance in the Olympics, Delhi is gateway to be back in the big company.

Indians deserved the all important victory; and the match, the final played against the backdrop of 15 thousand plus crowd turned out to be a great treat.

If one leaves our first 10, 15 minutes, its India all the way in the all important match today on a cool Sunday.

High on fitness and morale, the went into the blitzkrieg mode once the tight wall of France was broken with a gem of a goal from coach Nobbs' confidente Brendera Lakra.

Then Strike Sandeep took charge, to become the toast of the nation.

Playing like a super champion among the champions, he changed the complexion of the contest from mundane to mesmerising beauty.

India bulldozed France 8-1 in the final of Olympic Qualifier and thus made it to London majestically.

Sandeep Singh pumped in five goals, other scoring being Brendra Lakra, SV Sunil and VR Raghunath. India comfortably placed at 3-1 at HT
Indians had difficult times in piercing the France in the beginning. Francosis Scheefer and Co did not allow any elbow room for the Indians, who seemingly were in a hurry to taste the scoreboard.

The European showed strong nerves to stave off first Shivender’s diving deflection, and then Manpreet Singh’s top of the circle reverse stinger. The goalie Matthias Dierckens was in his elements. To stop the hard reverse of manpreet was really a King’s act.

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Indian however kept the tempo. Player maker par excellence Sardar Singh who set up India’s first goal. From near midfield, he sent a deceptive push to Sunil in the right wing position, who trapped and returned it into the circle, goalie blocked, but Briendra Lakra latched on to the rebound to send the crowd to cloud nine (1-0).

The scoring act then passed on to Sandeep Singh. Though he was charged out by Francois Scheefer close to the circle line in his first penalty corner attempt, Sandeep came on his own in the next two penalty corners.

The second penalty corner was not given by the Umpire John Wright, but Shivender appealed for it. India got a favourable television verdict. Sandeep Singh pushed hard in to the middle of the net for India’s second goal (2-0). It was in the 18th minute.

Sandeep came out with another gem in the 25th minute off India’s third penalty corner. In between India’s tow goals, a hit was deflected stylishly by Froncois for France’s only goal of the first half.

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