Olympic hockey qualifiers: India's men wake up late to beat Russia 4-2

BHUBANESWAR: The conversations of a tennis score were frustrated and the coach of India Graham reid The words Russia can play hockey became a kind of prophecy on Friday, when the hosts left it a little late for comfort before winning 4-2 in their first game of the Olympic qualifiers here in the Kalinga Stadium .

When Andrey Kuraev canceled Harmanpreet singh In the conversion of five minutes of penalties with a field goal, the crowd, about 10,000 of them, was silenced by the red brigade.

At the end of a third quarter without goals, he was the first (24 minutes) of Mandeep Singh The two goals that separated the two teams in 2-1. It would have been a nervous margin to win, entering the second and last game on Saturday.

It was only in the last 15 minutes that India added a mattress, with veteran SV Sunil in the 48th minute and Mandeep in the 53rd to rescue him.

The 4-1 looked much better than the 2-1, but Russia decided not to let India sleep peacefully and scored again, from a short corner, through Semen Matkovskiy.

On both occasions, when India conceded, Krishan Pathak was the goalkeeper while India continued with his practice of exchanging goalkeepers in each room. Coach Reid might have to review that strategy with just two goals ahead of the Russians and a game to play.

The other worrying factor is the goal-less five penalty corners, with neither Harmanpreet singh nor Rupinder Pal Singh managing to break the Russian publication. The visitors converted one of the four penalty corners they won.