India take the wooden spoon in Olympics for the first time

India lost 2-3 to South Africa in the 11th-12th classification match and finished last among 12 nations, their worst showing at Olympics ever. Their 8th place finish at Atlanta in 1996 was the worst showing before London. This is the first time India failed to win a single match at Olympics and their first loss against South Africa at a major tournament.

South Africa opened the scoring when Andrew Cronje scored in 8th minute from the Indian goal-line. Sandeep Singh was able to draw India level in the 13th minute though, when he scored via Penalty Corner. But South Africa edged ahead by a 34th minute diving flick from Timmothy Drummond as he beat an advancing Sreejesh to bring the score to 2-1 in South Africa’s favor. There was no change in the scorecard for the remainder of the half as both the teams continued to miss chances ahead.

The second half started with South Africa making some incisive moves inside the Indian half but were thwarted by Sreejesh on more than one occasion. There were continuous moves by the South African forwards, resulting in counter attacks from their Indian counterparts but some acrobatic goalkeeping and missed chances failed to improve the score for either team.

It was then Lloyd Norris-Jones who scored with a reverse flick in 65th minute which beat the Indian goalie and propelled South Africa to a decisive 3-1 lead. India managed to claw one back in the dying minutes as Dharamvir Singh slotted in a deflection off a defender comfortably in front of the goal. However, it didn’t change the result of the game as South Africans game out the better of the two worst teams in the tournament.

South Africa Andrew Cronje (8th), Timmothy Drummond (34th), Lloyd Norris-Jones (65th)


India Sandeep Singh (13th), Dharamvir Singh (67th)

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Edited by Staff Editor