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 February 27, 2002 | 2030 IST

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Early goals put pressure on India: Cedric

Despite another disappointing performance by his team in the hockey World Cup, coach Cedric D'Souza said he still has faith in his boys and believes they are capable of playing better hockey than they did against Malaysia.

"Soft fouls destroyed us and Malaysia played well on the break and caught us napping," a distraught D'Souza said at the post-match press conference.

Heckled and abused by certain sections of Indian fans, a tense looking D'Souza stormed into the post-match press conference and asked for security from the organisers. It was only after he was given security that he started taking questions.

"We showed character and courage in coming back after being 0-3 down and would have equalised if the captain (Baljit Dhillon) had not missed the stroke," he said.

"But I stand by my captain and believe in him. He is my captain and I will always ask him to take the penalty-stroke."

D'Souza said the two early goals put India under pressure. He maintained that he still believes "India are a better team, capable of playing better hockey".

He refused to comment on the umpiring and said Malaysia were better organised and played very well as a defensive unit.

"We should have taken our chances and we would have still clinched the match. There are no excuses. And we just have to fight it out here and believe in ourselves and see that we perform and win the rest of the matches.

"The World Cup is not over till the last match is played," D'Souza said.

The coach visibly lost his temper, when a reporter asked whether he was disappointed, and retorted: "What do you think, I will be? I am down as my team has been defeated."

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