Chief coach Joaquim Carlvaho said his gamble to pack the forward line and go on an all-out attack paid off, as India beat Argentina 2-0 in the concluding league match of the 16th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Wednesday.
"We needed to win the game and when the goals were not coming, I thought it would be of more purpose to have more men in the attack. So I opted for two centre-forwards and once we began to breakthrough from the middle the Argentine defence opened up," Carvalho said.
"It was a gamble to pull out our penalty-corner specialist, Raghunath. In any case, we were not receiving any penalty-corners, barring the one that we got in the second-half. So I had extra players to join the attack and I am happy that it paid off," Carvalho said after the match.
But the biggest setback for India was the second yellow card for Raghunath, who will now have to sit out the semi-final game.
Carvalho felt that his absence might not have that much of an impact and that he might play Didar Singh.
He said all his forwards played well though they missed chances. However, he refrained from singling out players for special mention.
"We kept the pressure on the Argentine defence by attacking them in waves. Because, that was the only way we could win the game and qualify. I thought Roshan Minz, Bharat Chikkara, Tushar Khandekar and Rajpal Singh were impressive; so also was Sardara Singh in the midfield. Overall, it was a fine team effort," he said.
Carvalho felt the fact that India needed only draw might have influenced Argentina's approach that was overly defensive.
"But, then, I am glad that we got the two goals in the very end and not at the start of the match," he added.
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