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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report


Early lapses cost us the game: Rajinder

December 14, 2005 15:15 IST

Indian hockey coach Rajinder Singh (Jr)said defence lapses in the first 15 minutes cost the team the match against Australia in the Champions Trophy in Chennai on Tuesday.

"We played very badly in the first 10 minutes. After that the pressure was on us. We committed a lot of mistakes in the first 15-20 minutes," he said in the post-mach conference while commenting on the 1-4 loss suffered by the hosts.

On the team's plan to slow down the Australians, Singh said, "Our plan was to restrain the Aussies from scoring in the first 10 minutes. We knew they are capable of scoring early. But we could not do so."

He said the defence held up after the players settled down but that was too late.

On key midfielder Viren Raquniha, who was injured while tackling a rival player and had to be taken out on stretcher in the second half, the coach said "he suffered a shoulder injury and was being attended to by doctors. The extent of injury would be known only after examinations."

Asked about Wednesday's match against Germany, who are yet to win a match, he said no team can be taken easily.

Captain Gagan Ajit Singh, replying to a question on his own form, said he created the opening for India's goal today and was not under any sort of pressure.

Australian coach Barry Dancer said he himself was surprised by the manner in which his team played in the first 10-15 minutes.

"It was unfortunate from the point of view of India. We were expecting a difficult match especially after seeing the way India played against Pakistan. But it turned out to be easy with our players getting off to a good start."

On India's performance, he said, "I watched India in thetwo earlier matches and this one; I find they have depth. But we outplayed them going for the total attack."

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