Britain crushes India's Olympic dreams, Carvalho to quit | india | Hindustan Times
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Britain crushes India's Olympic dreams, Carvalho to quit

india Updated: Mar 10, 2008 16:33 IST
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Indian hockey plunged to a new low after the men's team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time ever following their shocking 0-2 defeat against Britain in the qualifying tournament in Santiago.

India's Olympic dream came crashing as Barry Middleton (4th minute) and Richard Mantell (10th) scored for Britain in the nerve-wracking final of the qualifying tournament at the Prince of Wales Country Club.

Eight times gold medallist India thus failed to make it to the Olympics for the first time since their debut in 1928.

The setback prompted coach Joaquim Carvalho to step down along with his support staff.

While Britain celebrated to the accompaniment of the song "We are the Champions", the Indian players, heads bowed and shoulders slumped, could only watch the jubilant scenes of a team that played smarter, if not better, hockey in the late night match.

Britain showed a lot of steel in dealing with the massive pressure they were subjected to by the Indian forwards. The difference was that Britain, who had beaten India 3-2 in the league, capitalised on the two early chances that came their way, while the Indians did not.

India could never really settle down and the two yellow cards to their key players, midfielder Sardara Singh and forward Prabhjot Singh, filled their cup of woe.

India also blew five penalty corners with neither Ramachandra Raghunath, with his drag-flicks, nor Dilip Tirkey, with his direct hits, able to convert. In fact, their set-piece drill in the second-half was rather pathetic, as the ball was not even stopped cleanly.