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Umpiring not biased: Rach
December 08, 2004 21:07 IST
Indian coach Gerhard Rach on Wednesday said his side played a better game in the 1-2 loss against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy but claimed the team was denied a penalty stroke towards the close which, in the end, proved decisive.
"I am not blaming the umpiring. It's not biased. We were trailing 1-2 and looking for a late equaliser. So if we don't score the equaliser why blame the umpire. We were not given a penalty stroke which was very clear," Rach told reporters after the match.
Trailing 1-2, India earned a penalty corner just minutes before the hooter but Sandeep Singh's attempt was stopped on the goalline by a Pakistani defender before the ball went out of play.
The Indians claimed a penalty stroke on the ground that the shot had hit the leg of the defender before going out, but the onfield umpires turned down the appeal.
Rach said India played a better game but got themselves into the groove quite late into the match.
"India played a better game but a late game. We had our opportunities but we missed them. However, I am happy with the performance".
Rach said he was hoping another India-Pakistan clash on Sunday for the 3-4 place and if it happens his side will come up with a further improved game.
"Pakistan is still a better side but the gulf between the two sides seems to be bridging with every match."
Rach also seemed quite happy with the way the defenders stopped the Pakistanis including Sohail Abbas from scoring from five penalty corners.
"We conceded just thrice from 10 penalty corners against Holland and now nothing from five against Pakistan. We have one of the best short corner defences in the world."
Pakistan coach Roelant Oltmans said although he was happy with the win it would have been better had the team availed all the scoring opportunities.
"I am happy with the opportunities we created. But we did not fire in as much as we should have."
Pakistani skipper Waseem Ahmed agreed with his coach and said but for the missed chances the margin would have been much bigger.
"Their defence was not that good in the first half. Rather we missed our chances. Had we scored from the chances, the scoreline probably would have 6-1 in our favour," he said.
Waseem said his side dominated the proceedings throughout the first half but India bounced back hard in the second half.
"The comeback 10 minutes on resumption and equalised the score. Had they scored another goal, it could have put us in trouble."
On tomorrow's game, he said he was expecting a tough fight from New Zealand.
"We are looking forward to win the tough match. It's like a semifinal. Whoever wins will move to the final."