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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report


Important not to finish last: Rach

Biswajyoti Brahma | December 05, 2004 18:12 IST

After two defeats in as many matches, India's main target now is not to finish last in the Champions Trophy hockey tournament, coach Gerhard Rach said on Sunday.

India, who were given a drubbing by Spain on Saturday, showed remarkable improvement in their game against the Netherlands, though they went down 4-5 to the former championsat the National Stadium on Sunday.

"It was a close match which we lost. But the most important thing for us is not to finish last in the Champions Trophy. Our main target is to prepare the team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing," Rach told reporters after the match.

Rach said his team played much better thanSaturday but ended up second best because of some "silly mistakes".

He also questioned the quality of umpiring in the match.

"We played much better today, but made some silly mistakes. The umpiring decisions also went in favour ofthe Netherlandsand it helped them.

"Our team has young players. They will improve as they gain experience which counts in such a big tournament," the chief coach said.

The Dutch team may have kept their slate clean with a 100 per cent win record so far, but coach Terry Walsh said he was worried by the number of goals his team conceded in the last two matches.

"We conceded two against New Zealand and four more today. Six goals in two matches is a worrying factor. We have to do something about it. But I am happy about the six points we have got so far," said Walsh.

The Dutch coach conceded that his team had come under some pressure after India took the lead in the early part of the match.

"We started poorly and conceded an early goal. But the boys did well to bounce back and take good control by the end of first half.

"In the next match, we have to work on our basic skills and do away with our receiving errors."

Netherlandscaptain Jeroen Delmee said the way India bounced back into the match, he could see their desperation to win it.

"It was sensational match and India fought back really well. With a lead of 4-2, we thought we had closed the game at the half time, but they played really well to come back. India really wanted to do well," Delmee said.

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