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Rajinder pleased with team's showing
June 04, 2003 19:31 IST
India hockey coach Rajinder Singh was delighted with his team's showing after the 3-3 draw against Australia in the second leg of the Hockey Australia Men's Challenge in Sydney on Wednesday.
Two goals down, India rallied splendidly to snatch a draw with the hosts' senior team.
For Rajinder it was a case of tit for tat.
"We played very well today. You cannot say we were lucky to manage a draw. Rather it was Australia who were lucky to score at the last moment to win the title in the Perth final match, which we dominated throughout," he said.
In the final of the first leg at Perth on Sunday, it was the hosts who rallied to snatch a 2-1 victory over the Indians, the winning goal coming in the last minute.
The former half-back, who was a member of India's 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medal-winning team, expressed satisfication with his team's showing, saying the boys are improving with each outing.
"Our style of play is clicking," he said. "Today's match showed that attacking hockey can win matches. We are improving with each outing. The team's performance was much better today than what it was in Perth," he said.
Stressing that the team is in Australia to experiment and try out new tactics, Rajinder said he would continue with that approach whether the opposition is Australia or Pakistan.
"We would like to use the games to prepare the team for future.
"Today's match was tight but we peaked at the right time to score goals after trailing 0-2 for most part of the first half," he said.
Australia coach Barry Dancer slammed his team for allowing India back into the match after calling the shots right through the first-half.
"We played very well, were on the front foot and very proactive in the first 25 minutes but failed to maintain that momentum," he said.
"We had a couple of chances to seal the match at 3-2 but missed those and then India got a goal which is very disappointing.
"We deserved to win the game and are disappointed that we failed to," he added.