Olympic Qualifier Men’s Match – India v Russia

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At the minute 3 of the match Russia surprised India with a free- hit from Pavel Golubev which was blocked by the Indian goalkeeper. But India recovered the ball and its captain, Manpreet Singh, took the opportunity to score but the Russian goalkeeper blocked the first shoot but was fouled as he attempts his follow-up. India make good use of a video referral to get the decision, with a penalty stroke being awarded. Harmanpreet Singh shot and score the fist goal for India. After the penalty, India was dominant, but they were not having it all their own way. Goalkeeper Sreejes was forced into making another two saves before Russia won a penalty corner. However, Loginov miss-trapped the ball and the penalty corner broke down. And the first quarter ended with India leading the score 1-0.

The second quarter started with Russia recovering the ball. With an overhead pass downtime left caught the Indian defence napping, Kuraev cut across the top of the circle and guided his struck into the bottom left corner, scoring the fist goal for Russia. Indian was not doing it best job and Russia took advance of it. Sergey Lepeshkin, whose angled deflection missed the top corner of the Indian goal by a fraction. With less than six minutes before the half time, India re-established their lead through Mandeep Singh, who thrashed home a backhand strike into the bottom left corner. The struck was too powerful for Russia goalkeeper. But this was not the last chance for India in the second quarter to score. India won their first penalty corner of the match however Russia goalkeeper forced the ball with away from his goal with a big glove save.

In the third quarter, Russia made a bright start creating two good chances, the second of which almost produced the equaliser. Russia was giving a fantastic account of themselves after PR Srejesh blocked a strike from Marat Khairullin. Russia was matching their opponents, but India still have a slender lead. India┬┤s Amit Rohidas serves a green card two minutes suspension. India took their one goal lead into the final quarter.

In the final quarter, Russia brilliantly defended an Indian penalty corner. The initial effort from the top is charged down bravely before SV Sunil smashed a volley towards goal only to be denied by goalkeeper Gafarov, who produced a stunning reaction save. But India finally have some breathing space as SV Sunil forced home from close range after a goal-mouth scramble. Russia was chasing a goal but had looked vulnerable to the counter attack. India caught them out, with Mandeep Singh rounding off a slick passing move from SV Sunil and Manpreet Singh with an exceptionally cool finish. India kept leading the game, with a penalty corner chance missed and an amazing shot of Vivek Prasad blocked by the Russian goalkeeper, who had an exceptional match. Ten minutes before the end of the match, Russia won a penalty corner, with a drag-flick from Semen Matkovskiy, who send a low effort beyond the reach of Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and scored the second goal for Russia.

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