London: Indian hockey's Olympic dream is in the fast lane towards the exit door. Two losses in as many pool games has left them in a must-win situation in the remaining three league encounters, and on Friday they run into the defending Olympic champions Germany in one of those.
Even a draw in their last three Pool B engagements will mean India can at best hope for a top-six finish, which is what the experts realistically expected of the Indian team before the Games began. So while Michael Nobbs's boys will still try to make it through to the semis, all is not lost for them as they can still win hearts by finishing in the top half of the 12-team event.
Along with Netherlands, Germany are expected to progress to the semis from Pool B, even though they have won their two games at best scratchily against Belgium (2-1) and Korea (1-0) so far. But that's how they have peaked in all major tournaments in the past.
Though Germany's stickwork so far in London is nowhere close to the one expected of the defending champions, they still have a lot more in the tank than the Indians who, after a fighting loss against the Netherlands (2-3), surrendered tamely to New Zealand (1-3). ...more
07:30 PM, Aug 02, 2012