London: Yet another defeat, yet another setback marks exit for Indian Hockey from the London Olympics 2012. India, who were playing for avoiding the last place in the tourney, have failed again and have finished last on the teams' list.
India were beaten by South Africa 3-2 in what seemed like a disinterested affair. With the defeat, India has now finished at the 12 spot in the London Olympics points table.
South African forward Adrew Cronje struck an early blow in the eighth minute when he dribbled past the Indian defence to score the opening goal. But India’s penalty corner specialist Sadeep Singh did exactly what he is known for in the 14 minute. Singh converted a penalty corner into goal which equalized with the Proteas 1-1.
But then was time when India found it difficult to take possession of the ball as South Africans, with their long passes attacked to and fro regularly but Indian defence showed some better resistance. But RSA struck a late blow in the opening half when Timothy Drummond sent the ball in the Indian goalpost in the second last minute of the first half.
RSA didn't just stop here to scare Indians. Making great moves and changing planks at the crucial moments, the South African forwards penetrated through Indian defence on a number of occasions. Lloyd Norris-Jones scored the third and final goal for his team with 5 minutes to go. The score line was 3-1 when Dharamvir Singh came to India’s rescue for the final time in the 67th minute. He struck the ball back in the RSA’s goalpost before the referee blew the final whistle.
With the defeat, the Indian Hockey team will now return home without opening their account in the Olympics.
A lot of questions are waiting for the Indian Hockey team and coach Michael Nobbs back home.