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Carvalho blames lack of discipline for defeat
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March 07, 2008 11:46 IST

Chief coach Joaquim Carvalho blamed lack of discipline for India's 2-3 defeat against Great Britain in the men's Olympic hockey qualifying tournament in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday.

"Frankly, I am not worried or concerned that we lost the game today, but rather disappointed that the players did not restrain themselves. We needlessly took two yellow cards at a time when we were in control," Carvalho said.

"Had we been more disciplined in our game, the result would have been different," he told reporters at the post-match media conference.

Half-back Vikram Kanth and forward Shivendra Singh were sent out for indulging in rough play, reducing India to 10 men at different stages of the match.

Carvalho asserted that India will still make it to Sunday's final by defeating Chile in the concluding league match and then it would be a "different ball game" when the team plays Great Britain again.

He admitted that lapses in the midfield and deep defence helped Britain sustain pressure and that the match-winner was a result of avoidable mistakes.

"At 2-2 and a minute left, I thought we had the situation under control, but, again, we committed a couple of mistakes and it led to Britain's third goal," Carvalho said.

Reflecting on the positives from today's defeat, he said, "At least we now know what Britain is capable of. The last time we played them was in Champions Challenge when they were entered as England [Images]. But both our teams have undergone some changes since last year. As such, it was important that we got to play them, and having done so, I am now confident that we will win on Sunday and qualify for the Olympics [Images]."

Great Britain coach Jason Lee felt that the match could have gone either way, but paid tribute to his players for keeping their composure despite conceding an early goal.

"The match went according to our expectations, but I think we need to be careful not to take yellow cards; playing with one man less is obviously a disadvantage," Lee said.

He added that the result did not really count, considering that Sunday's final will decide which team goes through to the Games.

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