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India win men’s event of inaugural edition, defeat Poland 6-4 in final



Summary:

We witnessed the first winners of the Hockey5s event, with Uruguay, who won every match they played at the event, overcoming hosts Switzerland in the women’s final to become the Women’s Champions; while India who started the event as favourites in the men’s event, lived up to the billing prevailing over Poland to become the inaugural Champions in the Men’s event!

Overcast conditions in Lausanne proved to be a foreshadowing of the day to come as it rained goals throughout the day with teams getting more familiar with the format of the game and the tactics best suited to prevail in it. India, the eventual champions set the tone for the day with an offensive masterclass in a 7-3 win over Malaysia and from there the barrage of goals never ceased with a total of 78 goals scored in the 10 games.

If there were any doubts about the ability of the Hockey5 format to upset the pecking order, it was erased within 4 minutes of the Men’s finals, as Poland, who were the distinct underdogs, shocked India with 3 goals before India could find their feet in the game! But with 16 minutes left in the game, Indian nerves were settled by a thumping goal by Sanjay that got them going. Captain Gurinder got a second goal before the half time, that allowed India to trail by just 1 goal going into the half, and the game was anyone’s to win!

India had all the momentum going into the half and they started the second half in a similar vein. Boby Singh Dhami got India the leveller in the 1st minute and that was followed by some genius from the Player of the Tournament and Top Goal Scorer Raheel Mohammed scoring 2 goals to give India a 2-goal lead. Poland got a 4th goal that could have got them a way back into the game, but once again it was Raheel Mohammed who brilliantly set up another goal for Boby Singh Dhami that effectively ended the game with just 1 minute left.

Indian women registered a thrilling 4-3 win over the hosts Switzerland, and then drew 4-4 to South Africa on the second day of the FIH Hockey 5s 2022 at the Place de la Navigation Stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland on Sunday. Despite the win over the hosts, India missed out on a spot in the Final with the draw against South Africa, and finished in the 4th position in the table with 4 points. It was a matter of seconds between India finishing in the top two and missing out on a spot in the final. 

— with FIH and HI inputs



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