9.30 pm: Congratulations India on clinching the title in Bhubaneshwar. And as always, a word of appreciation for the crowd at the Kalinga Stadium. What a turn-out! Match report here. Goodnight from all us at The Field.

India scored a total of 35 goals in the tournament in five matches and conceding just four.

India captain Manpreet Singh thanking the spectators
India captain Manpreet Singh thanking the spectators

Man of the Match: Harmanpreet Singh

FULL TIME: India 5 South Africa 1

It’s all over. It seemed that the Indian team had taken their foot off from the accelerator in the last few minutes in the fourth quarter but the hosts had built such a big lead that it hardly mattered. They would have liked to maintain a clean sheet in the final but they will any day take this result.

GOAL! 53rd minute: India 5 South Africa 1

India concedes a soft penalty corner, the first for South Africa. They have managed to create some pressure on the Indian goal and they have managed to reduce the margin on second attempt through an indirect conversation with Pautz getting the final touch.

GOAL! 49th minute: India 5 South Africa 0

India goes for an indirect penalty corner this time as Harmanpreet Singh lays the ball for Varun Kumar and he makes no mistake in scoring his second goal of the match.

43rd minute: India 4 South Africa 0

While the Indians have been scoring at will, Mandeep Singh has been really struggling to find the net in this tournament. Manpreet Singh build a strong move from the left and Aakashdeep Singh crosses the ball to Mandeep, who could not connect.

41st min: India 4 South Africa 0

South Africa concedes a very soft penalty corner, India’s third of the match. But this time, the South African defence manages to thwart Harmanpreet Singh.

GOAL! 35th min: India 4 South Africa 0

Vivek Sagar Prasad shows brilliant awareness to taop the ball in after Simranjeet Singh had dribbled past a couple of defenders and pushed the ball towards him.

32nd min: India 3 South Africa 0

That was pretty poor from South Africa. The Indian defence makes a mistake in clearing the ball but Richard Pautz hits wide from the top of the circle despite no Indian defender anywhere near him.

HALF TIME: India 3 South Africa 0

India has proved why then were considered the runaway favourites to win the title in Bhubaneshwar. They maintained a very high tempo through out the 30 minutes and though all the three goals came through penalty corners or penalty strokes they created at least half a dozen field goal chances. On the other hand, South Africa barely managed three circle penetrations.

GOAL! 25th min: India 3 South Africa 0

Birendra Lakra has been obstructed inside the striking circle and India gets a penalty stroke. And Harmanpreet makes no mistake to extend India’s lead.

24th min: India 2 South Africa 0

South Africa will like to make the most of this opportunity as India are reduced to 10-men after Gurjant Singh has been shown the green card.

20th min: India 2 South Africa 0

South Africa have started to build pressure on India with a couple of attacks from the left flank. But the Indian defence has managed to keep any danger at bay.

15th min: India 2 South Africa 0

The only attack South Africa managed was in the last minute of the first quarter and that too because the Indian defence was slightly sluggish but Krishan Pathak stood tall in the goal to pad the ball away.

GOAL! 11th min: India 2 South Africa 0

Mandeep Singh earns India’s second penalty corner and Harmanpreet Singh doubles India’s lead with a dragflick in the middle of the net.

5th min: India 1 South Africa 0

India have been raiding the South African citadel in the first five minute and the Africans are yet to string together an attack on the Indian goal. The only time the ball has reached Indian custodian Krishan Pathak was when it was passed back to him by his teammate,

GOAL! 2nd min: India 1 South Africa 0

What a start for India. They immediately get a penalty corner and Varun Kumar makes no mistake slotting the ball home to the left of the South African goalkeeper.

1st min: India 0 South Africa 0

India have immediately started on the offensive. Vivek Prasad Sagar releases skipper Manpreet Singh on the right but he only manages to get a long corner.

7:22 pm: India have also booked their berth in the Olympic qualifiers and coach Graham Reid would be keen on bagging his first trophy with the Indian team before they move bigger challenges.

7:18 pm: The South Africans would be on a high after turning their fortunes around in the tournament after losing their first two games. They then upset USA in the semi-finals to book their berth in the Olympic qualifiers later this year.

7:15 pm: It’s time for the final as the two teams start trooping in and the Kalinga Stadium is full to near capacity and the fans have gathered to witness another Indian win. India has scored 30 goals in the four matches they have played in the tournament and it would be interesting to see whether Manpreet Singh and Co. can continue the goal-fest against South Africa.

7:13 pm: Asian Games gold medallist Japan have finished third after beating USA 4-2.

7:11 pm: While the Indians men’s team is gearing up for the title clash, the women’s team kicked off their campaign in Hiroshima, Japan, in style beating Uruguay 4-1.

You can read that report here.

7.00 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the title clash at the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament as India take on South Africa, with both teams having booked their place in the year-ending Olympic qualifiers.

In the semi-final, India outplayed reigning Asian Games champion Japan 7-2 to storm into the summit clash of the in Bhubaneshwar on Friday, assuring themselves a place in the year end’s Olympic qualifying event.

Returning to the side after a long injury lay-off, Ramandeep Singh (23rd, 37th minutes) finally got his mojo back with a double strike, while Harmanpreet Singh (7th), Varun Kumar (14th), Hardik Singh (25th), Gursahibjit Singh (43rd) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (47) also registered their name on the scoresheet. Japan’s goals were scored by Kenji Kitazato (2nd) and Kota Watanabe (20th).

South Africa had earlier defeated USA 2-1 in the first semifinal.

For the first time in the tournament, the Indian defence was literally tested as world no. 18 Japan gave a good account of themselves in patches. But India proved too good going forward, scoring 5 goals on the trot after the scores were tied 2-2.

On paper, they start as red-hot favourites against South Africa.