"There is lot of time to go for the World Cup and we are showing improvement. If we keep the pace we have a fair chance to win the World Cup. We are moving forward step by step" - Indian coach, Harendra Singh
Apr 11

Written by: Sundeep Misra
Saturday, April 11, 2009 


India 2 Pakistan 1

India 2 Pakistan 1

Flair and precision were sacrificed on the altar of robustness and experimentation. But it was India who managed to find a winner in Sandeep Singh who flicked India into the final beating Pakistan 2-1 here in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in Ipoh. It was India’s fifth entry into the Azlan final.

Sandeep Singh scored twice in the 28th and 60th minutes; the first goal coming off a penalty stroke and the second off a low penalty corner flick.

Pakistan had equalized in the 50th minute when Muhammad Saqlain split the Indian defence for Abbas Haider to deflect in the goal.
India has won the Azlan Shah in 1985, ‘91 and 1995. Last year they reached the final to lose to Argentina. They have finished third in 2000, ’06 and ’07.

Both teams started slowly not willing to concede an early goal. It was slow but robust hockey as a few sticks went over the shoulders. Pakistan’s Ehsan Ullah getting a Tushar Khandekar stick in the face and had to be carried off but came back later to play. A few more skirmishes ensured that rhythm was never established.

The Indians were never on top of their game and even simple trapping eluded them. With three forwards upfront and Shivender Singh the lone ranger in the Pakistan striking circle, fast one-to-one moves were just not on. Prabhjot Singh wasn’t in the match till the 20th minute when fans got to see his pacy familiar run on the left flank.

It required a vintage Ignace Tirkey move to scatter the Pakistan defence. In the 27th minute, Ignace moved through the middle and sent a beautiful through pass for Shivender who tried to muscle past two Pakistan defenders and ended up winning a penalty corner.
Sandeep Singh’s powerful flick hit Fareed Ahmed on the hand and the umpire pointed for a stroke. Pakistan did protest that the ball hit the stick. The resultant stroke gave India the lead and Sandeep bagged his sixth goal of the tournament.
At the break, India led 1-0

It was a bit surprising to see an ultra-defensive India in the second half. Pakistan took advantage and with the wily Muhammad Saqlain marshalling the midfield, it was a matter of time before they could have found the space.

India had the opportunity in the 45th minute when a stray ball found Prabhjot whose reverse shot went over the cross-piece.
In the 50th minute, Saqlain’s defence-splitting pass found the stick of Abbas Haider whose deflection sped in like a bullet. Indian goalkeeper Baljit Singh was left standing.

An attack down the left flank gave India their second penalty corner and the flick hit a Pakistan leg as the umpire signaled for a third penalty corner.
Sandeep Singh’s low flick beat Pakistan goalkeeper Nasir Ahmed for India to lead 2-1 in the 60th minute. Ten minutes stood between India and a place in the final for the fifth time.

India held on rotating the ball well in the midfield and came close to getting a third but both Ignace and Prabhjot Singh missed with Nasir saving twice in succession.

Coach Harendra Singh said he wasn’t happy with the play but he was satisfied that it gave his team a place in the final. “We are trying different formations in the tournament and looking at that we are happy we won.”

“Before the match, we had decided that a win here and in the tournament would be dedicated to Dilip Tirkey who has set a world record with 405 international appearances. It’s just sad that nobody is bothered about a player who has been playing for so long. But that is the way sports and the media in our country operates, so be it."

 

 



Tags:

22 comment(s) so far...

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Congrats to our Hockey Team!!!

By Gauri on   Saturday, April 11, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

It was a great victory for us because our opponent was Pakistan. We all pray and hope that we will become Champions in this edition of Azlan Shah Hockey.

By Sugnick Mitra on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

congrates to indian hockey

By Harmesh Singh on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

bahoot vadia ji

By Harmesh Singh on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Well done.Go for the cup . Congrats team India.

By raj on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

It is a very good thing that hockey in india has gone out of the hands of Mr.Gill and co. as those people were only interested in making Indian Hockey a dictatorial thing and I feel sorry for the likes of Gagan ajit Singh and also Baljit Singh Saini who I think were prematurely retired though they still have a lot in them and not to speak of Dhanraj Pillay

By Ajit Singh on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Great effort boys! You have been putting real hard work without much applause from media. But your fans in India are very very happy and we wish to thank you for your efforts. We love you all boys, let the world know we are among the top teams. We are with you, behind you, always keenly watching all your hard work with open eyes. Coach Harender, you are a very dedicated man. We don't need no Baresa, we need you to carry on.....any ever grudging Charles or anyone like him won't be of any use. You are the best batch, carry it on.

By Varun on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Chakk de India,

Thats really wonderful, happy to see we entered the final.
Though out the tournament we played very well in all the matches n 100% deserve to win the final.
After the corrupted/culprit members of hockey assiciation has been removed, its a one of the best result we can expect. We salute our team for performing good n playing like a champ.
Good luck for the final...win the cup.n make all of us proud of u..
If it dont work...still we salute u guys

By naveen on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Chak deyo fatte Jwano
Buraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......

By Manvir singh on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

AN ODE

LET THIS WIN GO AS AN ODE TO DILIP TIRKEY FOR HIS 405TH INTERNATIONAL APPEARANCE.

By bharath on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Congratulations from all hockey lovers from all over world where they are living to Indian Hockey Team ,well done boys.We will won the final also .keep it up .

By AMAN UAE on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

it is great to reach the final but after getting the cup can they speak to the media now that kps is not the boss. will they be allowed to celebrate by speaking their heart out. and why do we play defensive at the end when we lead in any match?
regards

By binod on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

All of you deserve standing ovations. Hats off to you guys. You all played exceptional game to enter final as compared to performance in the first two games.
Guys please pull out some valuable time to watch hockey.
At the end of the day we have clinched 8 olympics gold. We are the best team in the world. The Sports lacked Exposure.
Watch out finals we will win...
hip hip hurray...Jai bharat ma...Jai ho.

By VIPUL KUMAR SINGH on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

surely u guys can win this cup

By bhullar on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

heartly congratulation to indian hockey team

I CONGRATULATE THE INDIAN HOCKEY TEAM ON REACHING THE FINAL AND HOPE INDIA WILL WIN THE FINAL. I ALSO CONGRATULATE DILIP TIRKEY FOR WORLD RECORD 405 MATCHES. I AM VERY SAD THAT THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA DIDN'T COVER THE AZLAN SHAH. ONCE AGAIN CONGRATULATE THE INDIAN TEAM N TEAM MANAGEMANT.......GOOD LUCK KEEP IT UP

By Naseeb Singh on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

thanks for your full coverage of hockey match and no leading new papers had covered much about hockey but i still do not find the timings of the final match.

By Jagannath Mani on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

chak do sher punjab deo... i feel so proud of you..good luck to tomorrow's game.

By karan grewal on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Well done India on reaching the final. Hope you win the final.I am one of your followers
from Southampton,England. Being a hockey player myself i would be grateful if there
was indian hockey showed on tv. All the best.
Mohinder Singh Mandair.

By Mohinder Singh Mandair. on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Well done India on reaching the final of Azlan Cup. Hope you win the final and put
India back on the map. I myself being ex. hockey player from Kenya and England
follow your team.I will be grateful if there was more coverage of Asian hockey on
TV. All the best wishes from us.

By Mohinder Singh Mandair. on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Congratulations and all the best for the final. Bring home the trophy.

By A.V. Suresh Sharma on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

Cheers....
1 day soon v wil even will the GOLD MEDAL IN OLYMPICs.........

By Ankit on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Re: India win 2-1, enter Azlan final

I THINK THIS IS THE BEGINING. GOD LUCK IN THE FINALS. ABNASH

By ABNASH NIJJOR on   Sunday, April 12, 2009

Your name:
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Title:
Comment:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

Search Stories
Archive
 

Survey
Is it time to appoint Brasa as coach?





Submit  Results
     

Copyright © 1999 - 2009 IndianHockey.com | Terms Of Service | Privacy Policy

Powered by Chitresh.com