If there were any nerves about playing a big tournament in front of a cheering home crowd, they were nowhere to be seen.
India made a solid start to their campaign at the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar by comprehensively beating South Africa 5-0 in their Pool C clash.
There was a buzz around the country ahead of the start of the competition, with India hoping to improve upon a wretched record at World Cups from the recent past as the showpiece tournament came home after eight years.
All set for our World Cup campaign that kicks off today - we are excited to play in front of our home crowd! Keep your support flowing & bring the noise for @TheHockeyIndia ?? #HWC2018 #DilHockey #Chakde pic.twitter.com/GiXBy0kIdN— Manpreet Singh (@manpreetpawar07) November 28, 2018
Support came from the highest quarters for the Men in Blue ahead of their opener.
On the ground, a legend of Indian hockey was present to egg the team on.
When the architect of modern hockey Dhanraj Pillay comes out himself to cheer the men in blue in their opening campaign of the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 against South Africa on 28th November.#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/dQ2cHcTPnB— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 28, 2018
First-quarter goals from Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh, followed by a double from Simranjeet Singh and a Lalit Upadhyay strike in the second half, meant all present at the Kalinga Stadium had lots to celebrate.
A fantastic start for the Indian Hockey team!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 29, 2018
Congratulations to our team for an impressive win against South Africa in their opening match at the World Cup in Odisha.
Best wishes for the upcoming games. @TheHockeyIndia #HWC2018
Couldn’t have asked for a better start for India. Well done boys ?? IND 5-0 RSA. Enjoy the win. The Bhubhaneswar crowd was amazing. Next match vs Belgium will be crucial. Congrats @TheHockeyIndia #HWC2018— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) November 28, 2018
. Read more on Hockey by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths‘Darkest Day of My Life’: Mithali Responds to Powar’s Allegations . Read more on Hockey by The Quint.