High flying India outclassed low ranked Ireland 3-2, to break the 12 years old jinx in the Hockey at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Saturday. Prior to the Summer games 2016, Ireland had never qualified for the Olympic tournament and India last won a field hockey match at Athens 2004 against South Korea.
India dominated the Irish in the first three quarters but they did fight back in the fourth to reduce India’s lead. In the first two quarters, India was leading 2-0 when J Jermyn strike back with a penalty corner goal. In the last quarter Rupinder Pal Singh again swelled India’s lead. But the Irish team bounced back as Conor Harte drag flicked the second goal past P.Sreejesh to make the score 3-2.
India scored their first goal after failing to convert first three penalty corner in the last five minutes in the first quarter. Sardara Singh was leading the Indian team today.
All five goals scored in the match came through penalty corners as goalies from both sides, Sreejesh and Hart were on top of their game and kept denying possibility of a field goal. In the end, it turned out to be a job well done for India as they got their campaign off to a winning start against 12th seeded Ireland.
The Irish team gave Indian some anxious moments in the final quarter. They forced four penalty corner in a space of four minutes and Harte's goal with four minutes left on the clock set up a thrilling finish.
India lost Ramandeep Singh in the final minutes due to a yellow card but their experience to play possession hockey helped the world No. 5 team win full points and a big slice of confidence ahead of the Germany match.