New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) The Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium which was packed with an enthusiastic crowd when the India-Australia men's hockey final began Sunday morning wore a nearly deserted look by noon as the hosts came crashing down 0-8.
As the match started, the stadium was abuzz with slogans like "Chak De India", "Jai Ho", "India Jeetega" but the crowd mellowed down after the first half with Australia leading by four goals.
Although the crowd did cheer the team whenever they had possession of the ball but the players couldn't sustain their excitement for long.
Many people started leaving the stadium during the second half as Australia were leading by six goals. At the end, there were just a handful of people watching the match.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also watched the match. While Singh came at the start of the match, Gandhi joined him in the second half.
"I knew India would lose against Australia but not with such a margin. The saddest part is that we could not even open our account. We really need to focus on our national game by providing all necessary facilities to players," said Rajat Arya, a college student.
A dejected Sonia Diwedi, a travel writer, said: "I am really upset as I was hoping that India will win. The worst part is that our score was nil."
However, many others were satisfied that at least India managed to reach the finals.
"I was not expecting any miracle today (Thursday). Aussies are world champions and India did a good job reaching finals. I am happy that we defeated England in semi-finals," said Gyanendra Ahuja, a software engineer.
It was Australia's fourth gold in a row since the introduction of hockey at the Games in 1998 while for India it was their first podium finish.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Sports Minister M.S. Gill, Australian High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese and CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi were also present at the venue.