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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jr WC hockey: Our boys gave away the match to Korea, says India coach

Jr WC hockey: Our boys gave away the match to Korea, says India coach

Last updated on: December 11, 2013 17:41 IST

Jr WC hockey: Our boys gave away the match to Korea, says India coach

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After India crashed out of the reckoning in the Junior Men's Hockey World Cup on Tuesday following a 3-3 draw against Korea in their last pool match, a disappointed chief coach Greg Clark rued that his wards "gave away" the match.

India were leading 3-1 at one stage before the Koreans rallied splendidly at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi.

The draw saw both India and Korea finished their pool engagements with four points each, but it was not enough for the home team to qualify for the quarter-finals as they needed a victory because of an inferior goal difference.

Korea finished second while the Netherlands topped the pool with three wins from as many games, the Dutch thrashing lowly Canada 7-0 in their last league encounter earlier in the day.


Image: The Indian players after the match against Korea on Tuesday
Photographs: Hockey India

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'We did not take our chances and paid the price'

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"Definitely, we gave it away... when you are 3-1 up. I don't think Korea played that well. We gave them lot of soft turnovers. We could have controlled the game a bit more," a visibly disappointed Clark said.

"We turned the ball over too cheaply. We did not take our chances when they came and we paid the price for it."

The Indians were guilty of wasting too many scoring opportunities and Clark conceded that a lot of work needs to be done in the forward line.

"Yeah, together with the technical skill of finishing there also comes the mental ability to keep your mind clear and calm. So that's certainly an area we need to work on," he said.

"I think we made a lot of interceptions in the first half. But I think we rushed the ball on quite a few occasions."


Image: Gurjinder Singh celebrates after scoring against Korea
Photographs: Hockey India
Tags: Clark , Korea

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'Despite all the pressure the guys played a good game'

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India faced a must-win situation against Korea in order to progress to the knock-out stage and Clark said pressure played a factor.

"Whenever the Indian national team plays anywhere around the world there is pressure and, yes, the boys would have definitely felt the pressure tonight.

"May be that was the reason, but despite all the pressure the guys went out there and played a good game. We came back from a tough situation being 1-0 down and came to a winning position," the South African said.


Image: Mandeep Singh scores for India
Photographs: Hockey India

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'It is important for us now to win our next two matches'

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With a podium finish out of sight, Clark said his next task would be to rejuvenate his wards for the 9-12 place classification matches.

"The guys are very disappointed. It was a home tournament and they were desperate to do well. I really feel for them. They had been training and focusing on this tournament for a long time.

"I will give them time and space today and tomorrow. It is really important for us now to win our next two matches so that we can finish as high as possible," he said.

Asked why he did not use third specialist drag-flicker in Sukhmanjit Singh in the match, Clark replied, "Having analysed Korea we felt we had the right option to take penalty-corners. Credit to them for denying us in the first two corners when Gurjinder was not in the field. The way the Koreans run does not give us the option to try Sukhmanjit." 


Image: The Koreans celebrate after forcing a draw and qualifying for the quarter-finals
Photographs: Hockey India

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