Rio de Janeiro, Aug 6 : The Indian men's hockey team kicked off their Rio Olympics campaign on a winning note, edging past minnows Ireland 3-2 in their first Pool B contest here on Saturday.
Drag flicker VR Raghunath put India ahead at the stroke of first quarter before Rupinder Pal Singh doubled the lead via a penalty corner in the 27th minute of the pulsating game at the Olympic Hockey Centre.
Although John Jermyn pulled one back for Ireland towards the end of the third quarter, Rupinder restored the two-goal lead immediately in the 48th minute through another penalty corner.
The game turned out to be nail-biter as Ireland pulled another one back when Conor Harte scored just five minutes before the final whistle, but the PR Sreejesh-led side held their nerve to seal the win.
This was also India's first win in opening match in Olympics since Sydney 2000. India will next take on two-time defending champions Germany in their next group stage clash on Monday.