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September 19, 2000
Walsh finds India stronger than last year
Jaideep Singh in Sydney
Australia's men'’s hockey coach Terry Walsh says he is surprised by India's extraordinary display at the ongoing Olympic Games.
"We always expected India to be formidable opponents and they proved to be so," Walsh said, after the Group B match between the two countries ended in a 2-2 draw on Tuesday.
"I found them a lot stronger than last year, but not extraordinary."
Walsh was not prepared yet to agree that the sub-continental teams are going to take the thunder away from the European sides at these Games.
"Not from what I've seen so far," said Walsh. "I think you'll see some stronger performances from the stronger teams.
"I know there are a number of unusual results but the tournament is just going into full gear. Just see, the stronger teams can produce breathtaking results."
"I won’t compare the Indian and Pakistani teams from the matches so far as the context of the Games could been very different," he said.
The expansive exhibiton of hockey in the India-Australia match brought the Olympic hockey competition to life after a number of drab draws and upset results.
Australian ace striker Jay Stacy said the free-flowing game was expected against India.
"This always happens against the sub-continental sides and India today played a good game…it's valuable to have a hard hit-out like that early in the tournament," Stacy said.
Walsh said the match against India proved what he had always thought: "An exception amount of prepration goes in for the Olympic Games and results could be surprising for anyone.
"The tempo of the match against India was very quick and the boys needed to adapt to put our strategies into effect," he said. "But I think we should have scored more goals after dominating the second session."
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