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2020 Oly Qualifier
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Laboured 3-1 victory for India (6/7/2019)
--s2h Team
Contrary to expectations, Poland managed to put up a magnificent show at Kalinga Stadium to ward off in equal measure both the Indian hockey team and also the sizeable crowd which stood by them. The Poles, who succumbed to India for a 0-10 defeat at Ipoh recently, not only struck a goal but also kept the Indians in control in most part of the proceedings. Except of course captain Manpreet Singh, who was in his elements today on Day 2 of FIH Series Final in Odisha. The little dynamo singlehandedly changed the fortunes in his team's favour. Manpreet struck a beautiful brace of goal while had his hand was firmly etched in the other goal that Harmanpreet Singh posted.


After a barren first half in which both teams studied the other cautiously, India went ahead in a penalty corner drill. Harmanpreet's flick was anticipated by marvellous goalie in Maceij Pacanoswski but the short rebound was scooped over the fallen goalie by the hawkish Manpreet Singh to break the goal deadlock (1-0).

Had only in the previous penalty corner Harmanpreet Singh be such a hawkish as was his captain, India would have made it fruitful. But Haramnpreet was not deceitful when he straight away hit the ball on goalkeeper.

It was all alone goal for the unstoppable Manpreet in the same quarter. Trapping a ball on the right edge of the striking circle, he sent whiplash of an acute cross into the goal amidst a maze of legs and sticks. Even as Gursahibjit Singh tried to deflect it, the ball was so powerful it crashed into the other corner all by its own.


Even otherwise Gursahibjit Singh was loathe in his act of scoring today, so also Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh.

Had these forwards been bit more alert inside the circle, we would have easily had the Ipoh story to tell. The third goal was a result of resolute game showcased by Manpreet Singh. He sent a long midfield pass into the circle only to see it turning into a penalty corner which Harmanpreet converted with a neat ground to the right corner of the cage. Shortly later, Manpreet Singh came close to striking his maiden hat-trik but just missed. He could spot a loose ball tripping behind the fallen goalie but he harried to push it to the net.

Though it was a happy ending for the hosts, there were anxious moments. Goals were hard to come by in the first quarter When it came in the 21st minute, it did not last long. Within four minutes a lapse from Hardik Singh on his own circle ended Mateusz Hulboj equalizing. Hardik could not stop a long ball on the top of his won circle. The ball ballooned from his stick and fell mid way in the circle. Hulboj whacked the waist high ball in a split second to send home (1-1).

Goals neutralized India had tough moment, tightened its prodigal midfield which paved way for Manpreet Singh to do his best.

Manpreet Singh was adjudged as the Best Player of the match.

Earlier in the day, Japan beat Mexico 3-1 while Russia thrashed Uzbekistan 12-1

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