India ride on Sandeep's hattrick to beat France | india | Hindustan Times
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India ride on Sandeep's hattrick to beat France

india Updated: Feb 22, 2012 00:22 IST
Navneet Singh

Way back in the 1930s when field hockey was gaining ground in France, India were already a dominant force. On Tuesday, India proved they continued to be far superior to France in the men's Olympic Qualifiers at the National stadium. The hosts outplayed their unfancied European opponents 6-2 to stamp their authority in the six-nation tournament, which is the last chance for India to win a ticket to the London Olympics.

As they did in their previous two victories, India's forward line combined well and did enough damage to the rival defence early on to take command of the contest. The defenders did a pretty good job to keep France at bay.

Attacking from the word go, a combine effort of Sarvanjit Singh and Shivendra Singh fetched India's their first goal in the 4th minute. Shivendra's deft touch inside the circle left rival 'keeper Matthias Dierckens dazed. Five minutes later, another attack got India a penalty corner and Sandeep Singh made no mistake (2-0) with his drag flick.

Despite gaining the upper hand, there was no let-up in India's intensity as far as attacks were concerned. And they enhanced the margin through a penalty stroke in the 30th minute, Sandeep being bang on target.

For France, Lucas Sevestre and Sebastien Jean scored in either halves.

Sandeep coverted a penalty corner in the 37th minute. Two minutes later Shivendra Singh coordinated with SV Sunil and the latter scored. Tushar Khandker rounded off the tally in the 62nd minute.