|March 1st, 2008|
|2||Round-Robin||4:30pm||IND - RUS||8 - 0 (4 - 0)||Final|
The Indian team was impatiently awaited by the crowd, and they immediately offered a display of their individual skills. The athletic Russian players opposed their compact defense and held tight for a while, showing their experience of the indoor game with some good collective organization and skills in tight space. It took a penalty corner by veteran Dilip TIRKEY to break the deadlock in the 14th minute, but the rest of the game was entirely dominated by the Indian running game, with some spectacular goals well appreciated by the crowd, including a hat-trick by Prabhjot SINGH, the most dangerous forward today.
The Russian defenders were far too inexperienced to prevent the quick passing game of the Indians, who somehow always managed to end up with a player alone in front of goal. It took some heroic opposition by Roman ROGOV in the Russian goal to prevent the score from escalating faster. Russia’s only chance came from a penalty-corner in the last minute of play, but they did not succeed to open their tally.
In the absence of Diwakar RAM, removed at the last minute from the roster on injury, India tried different combinations on penalty-corners, wasting quite a few before V.R. RAGHUNATH scored one in convincing manner in the 54th minute.
Indian Coach Joaquim CARVALHO was happy with his team performance, admitting that they were worried before the game because they knew very little of their opponent of the day. He added that it was important for the forwards to score to raise their confidence. “It doesn’t matter who you score against, it is important for a forward to score goals!”. Indian Captain Prabodh TIRKEY expressed his satisfaction with new pitch, which he found even and fast, and well suited to the Indian style of play.