|August 11th, 2012|
|35||11/12||8:30am||RSA - IND||3 - 2 (2 - 1)||Final|
(11th-12th) South Africa vs. India: 3-2 (half-time: 2-1)
South Africa opened the scoring early by Andrew Cronje, finding the ball in a wild goalmouth scramble in front of PR Sreejesh in goal for India today, before Sandeep Singh equalized on penalty-corner, only his second goal of the tournament. His weak performance on the set-play, India’s most potent weapon in recent past, has certainly contributed to the Indian poor results in this competition.
Play was balanced and lively for the remainder of the period, with both teams launching spectacular runs with the ball. Sardar Singh gave glimpses of his immense class and Danish Mujtaba twice shot from close range, but Erasmus Pieterse was up to the task in the South African goal. It was finally Timothy Drummond who managed to break the deadlock, shovelling the ball under the Indian keeper in the final minute of the period to give South Africa a one-goal lead, and momentum, going into the halftime break.
Play resumed as animated in second period. Indian keeper PR Sreejesh had to clean-up a few times behind his permeable defense while Erasmus Pieterse was having a phenomenal match for South Africa, saving huge shots from SV Sunil and Dharamvir Singh. The match switched to overdrive in the final minutes, with goals from Lloyd Norris-Jones, receiving a gem ball from Wade Paton and slamming it in goal, before a goal by Dharamvir Singh reduced the gap to one goal.
India had a late desperate surge, but it was too little and certainly too late and they finished this competition with the wooden spoon, a far cry from their pre-Games expectation, when Captain Bharat Chetri was optimistically talking about a semi-final berth. South Africa finished 11th, one spot higher than their entry ranking. They will take away some strong performances against Great Britain (2-2), Spain (2-3) and Pakistan (4-5).
Jonathan ROBINSON (RSA)
On South Africa's tournament: "It was great to get a result and leave on a high. It was a hard school, the team has learned some tough lessons that we were slow to learn, but the team has developed and it has been an awesome tournament. Everything about the Olympic Games is awesome. We're a developing team that belongs in the international arena and we want to keep growing in the world rankings."
On the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's insistence on additional qualifying criteria: "I suppose it was fair, but it made it difficult for us to preapre because we only qualified 50 or 60 days before the tournament. We learned a lot in Japan, but it was still tough, it was the long way around."
Andrew CRONJE (RSA)
On South Africa's victory: "It's great, we've been working hard for this and we came here with high expectations. We wanted to do this (win) a few more times through the tournament but it didn't materialise. Great to finally get a victory, and we're just glad to finish off strong."
On scoring a goal: "I'm usually on the other side of the halfway line, but it just so happened I was in the right position. The ball got there and it was a bit of a steal, but I'll take it."
On South Africa's tournament: "We've worked really hard as a team for a long time to come out here and do well. We've set ourselves high standards and worked hard to get here. The tournament started and it was a tough road for us. We felt confident going into every match, we felt that we'd prepared well for every match but it just didn't fall for us. We have to be disappointed with the 11th place finish. The Olympic experience is unique, it's incredible to spend it with this group and these players. The overall experience was good but ultimately it ends with the hockey and we left a little bit out there over the tournament."
On hockey in South Africa: "After our Japan win to qualify for the Olympic Games hockey got a lot of publicity and it really boosted the sport. The Olympics was an opportunity for us to really portray hockey in a bigger way, we've had incredible support right throughout the tournament so we know the support is there. Finishing strongly today has put us on the front foot, so I think hockey will take a few steps forward."
Manpreet SINGH (IND)
On India's performace in the tournament: "It is a very bad feeling to have six games and six losses. It's not good."
On his own London 2012 experience: "It was good getting to play Australia. They are a good team, so that was an experience to learn from."
Sardar SINGH (IND)
On the match against South Africa: "We keep making the same mistakes all the time. We have to be aggressive. It was emotionally tough conceding the second goal. We have to be tough in the circle in future. We have to improve a lot. It's very disappointing. The whole team has been mentally affected."
On the difference between India's hockey and other teams' hockey: "The world's best teams convert their chances, we don't. From the Holland (NED) match onwards we had many chances but we couldn't convert them into goals."
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:23 am||Match for 11th-12th between South Africa and India just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:23 am||Umpires for RSA vs. IND are KIM Hong Lae (KOR) and German MONTES DE OCA (ARG)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:24 am||Both teams finsihed 6th in their pool, South Africa with 1 draw and 4 losses, India with 5 straight losses|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:25 am||India is ranked 10th in the World Rankings and will finish below their entry ranking, South Africa is ranked 12th|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:31 am||PR Sreejesh is in goal for India. They have been alternating between him and team Captain Bharat Kumar Chetri|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:34 am||Play is stopped to attend to Manpreet Singh, hit in the head by a a stick after a tackle...|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:43 am||Andrew Cronje opens the scoring for South Africa from a wild goalmouth scramble. RSA-IND 1-0 after 9mn|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:45 am||Sandeep Singh saves on the line to prevent another RSA goal|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:49 am||Sandeep Singh equalizes for India on penalty-corner, only his 2nd goal of the competition. RSA-IND 1-1 after 15mn|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:00 am||Play is lively in the bright sunshine, but no real chance in the last 10 minutes. RSA-IND 1-1|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:02 am||Green card to SK Uthappa (IND)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:05 am||Green card for Lloyd Norris-Jones (RSA)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:07 am||India appeal for a penalty-corner using their video-referral. Appeal rejected.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:09 am||Yellow card to VR Raghunath (IND)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:10 am||Timothy Drummond gives the lead with a deflection from close range. RSA-IND 2-1 with less than 1 minute in the period|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:11 am||Half-time with South Africa leading India 2-1|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:24 am||Green card for Timothy Drummond (RSA)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:29 am||Indian keeper PR Sreejesh saves his team twice with his defense nowhere close. RSA-IND 2-1 with 26mn to go|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:43 am||Two more unsuccessful penalty-corner attempts for Sandeep Singh. RSA-IND 2-1 with 14mn to go|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:50 am||Indian players look disheartened... RSA-IND 2-1 with 6mn to go|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:53 am||Lloyd Norris-Jones receives a ball from Wade Paton and slams it in goal. RSA-IND 3-1 with less than mn to go|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:54 am||India respond immediately by Dharamvir Singh! RSA-IND 3-2|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:58 am||Game is over. India had a late desperate surge but it was too late and South Africa wins 3-2|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:58 am||South Africa finish 11th, 1 spot higher than their entry ranking.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:59 am||They will take away some strong performances against Great Britain (2-2), Spain (2-3) and Pakistan (4-5)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:59 am||India was expecting more from these Olympics. They finish 12th, 2 spots lower than their entry ranking...|