India downs Chile 4-1; to meet Britain in final

Santiago, Chile, Mar 9 (UNI) V R Raghunath pumped in a brace as India thrashed hosts Chile 4-1 to enter the final of the Olympic hockey qualifying tournament here today.

India dominated the proceedings from the start as they carried out repeated raids on the rival citadel.

The eight-time Olympic champions surged into the 10th minute when Prabhjot Singh deflected in a pass from the left.

India then increased their lead as they scored two goals in consecutive minutes. First Raghunath dribbled down the left flank and played a one two with Prabhjot Singh before firing home.

Then Bharat Chikara slammed in a pass from Tushar Khandekar as India went into the break with a 3-0 lead.

The reigning Asia champions kept up the pressure in the second half, coming up with several threatening moves.

Rajpal Singh missed a sitter when a pass from Prabhjot Singh found him unmarked inside the penalty area. Rajpal, however, hit wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Chile were soon down to ten men when Ian Koppenburger was shown the yellow card for a blatant foul on Prabhjot Singh.

But the Indians failed to utilise this opportunity since Ajitesh Rai was also shown the yellow card a few minutes later.

India grabbed their fourth goal when VR Raghunath (62nd min) scored from the first penalty corner of the match, punching in a powerful dragflick.

Chile hit back in the very next minute when Felipe Montegu (63rd min) converted a penalty corner.

The Chileans pressed hard in the closing minutes as India held on for a win.

India, will lock horns with Great Britain, who beat Austria 4-0, in the final tomorrow.


Story first published: Sunday, March 9, 2008, 10:32 [IST]
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