The Indian men's hockey team hits Russia to reserve the Tokyo Olympics ticket
BHUBANESWAR: It didn't start in the expected lines. He went down by two goals in total, after losing the first game of the Olympic qualifiers 2-4 on Friday, the first-minute attack by Russian Alexey Sobolevskiy gave India the first nerves they feared so much. But in the next 59 minutes, Russia pursued an unlikely discomfort that moved away from them. The icing on the cake for the Odisha crowd here at Kalinga Stadium was local boy Amit Rohidas scoring the final goal in India's 7-1 victory.
The 11 goals of India against the three of Russia in the qualifier of two legs reserved a Tokyo Olympics Host ticket. This was in the expected lines.
India remained anxious for 16 minutes after Russia scored, when Lalit Upadhyay, at 17, leveled the game. Akashdeep Singh then erased the memories of a first forgettable game for him with two goals in the 23rd and 29th minute. India led 3-1 at the break.
The third quarter did not produce any goal, as Russian hopes remained afloat, even slightly. Nilakanta Sharma added the next nail to the coffin with his goal at 47 minutes, and then the Rupinder Pal Singh, which dragged and blinked, recovered with two short corner conversions in the 48th and 59th minute.
The success rate in the penalty curves improved to 3/6 when Rohidas completed the last rites to launch the seventh and final goal of India, which followed the sound of the beep and the loud shouts of hockey Fans in the stands.