New Delhi, June 7 (Ajit Weekly News) Young forward Mohammed Raheel, who was the star as the Indian men’s hockey clinched the title in the inaugural FIH Hockey 5s in Lausanne, Switzerland this weekend, said he loved the format of the shortest version of the sport.
The 25-year-old Raheel had a remarkable outing in Lausanne as he emerged as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals and was adjudged the Best Player of the Tournament.
“Firstly, it’s a great feeling to be playing for the Indian team. I am really happy that I contributed to the team’s cause. It was a wonderful experience and I really loved playing this format of the game,” Raheel, who was the lynchpin of India’s attack in the tournament, was quoted as saying in a release by Hockey India.
The Indian team, led by Gurinder Singh, finished the round-robin stage on top with three wins and one draw in four matches and remained unbeaten in the tournament.
They started their campaign with a 4-3 win and played out a 2-2 draw against Pakistan on the opening day. Then on Sunday, they registered 7-3 and 6-2 wins against Malaysia and Poland respectively before scripting a stunning comeback against the latter in the final match.
Raheel, who got on the scoresheet in all five matches, netted twice in India’s thrilling 6-4 win against Poland in the final.
Reflecting on the campaign, the young forward said, “It was a new experience, the matches were really fast-paced, but we improved match-by-match and got to score a lot of goals. We started using the perimeter boards more, and with that our finishing got improved. We played really well as a team. It’s a great feeling to win the inaugural edition of the Hockey5s.”
Apart from emphasising on the entertaining factor involved in this short 5-a-side format, Raheel also credited the FIH for making this event a memorable experience for all the participating teams.
“Credits to the FIH for introducing the Hockey5s. It was a beautiful set-up in Laussane, we really enjoyed it. We were playing in front of a packed ground after so long, so it made this experience all the more memorable,” he concluded.
–Ajit Weekly News