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Defeat to Germans disappointing: Bhaskaran

Source: PTI
September 07, 2006 01:01 IST
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After the heartbreaking defeat to hosts Germany in the opening Pool B match of the men's hockey World Cup, India's coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran was a "disappointed" man.

"We played well, especially in the second-half, when we should have scored more than just two goals. But the German goalkeeper was outstanding. However, at the end of the day, it is the result that counts and not how we played," said Bhaskaran, summing up India's performance.

He admitted that his team was rather sluggish and defensive in the first-half.

"When we went down by a goal, I was not too happy with our body language. During the break, I urged the boys not to give up and go on the attack. The result was there for you to see. I thought we were outstanding in the second-half, but, like I said earlier, I am extremely disappointed with the result," he said.

When questioned about the second German goal by Oliver Hentschel from a penalty-corner, Bhaskaran defended goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza for rushing out and leaving the goal open for an indirect attempt.

"Some goalkeepers feel it is better to rush out and narrow the angle. Adrian did much the same, but was beaten by the clever slip ball that allowed the Germans to score," Bhaskaran said.

Looking ahead to tomorrow's game with England, he said: "We have less than 24 hours to recover, but it is the same for all the teams here. It is important that we forget today's result and come back fresh for tomorrow's game.

"I am sure, my boys are capable of playing much better and against England; we will be on the attack from the start, for it is an important game for us."

Skipper Dilip Tirkey said that his team played to a plan in the first-half.

"Our focus was to hold the ball and frustrate the Germans before going on the attack. We played more attacking hockey in the second-half and had our chances. Yes, I am terribly disappointed with the result," he said

Meanwhile, neither Bhaskaran nor Tirkey could throw more light on Kanwalpreet Singh's yellow card suspension towards the close of the first-half.

"I am not sure what the yellow card was for, but I feel it was probably for some body play, though I am not sure," said Tirkey.

Bhaskaran said: "Frankly, I don't know why the yellow card was shown, but, anyway, it is time we looked ahead to our next game than worry about what happened today."

German captain Timo Wess said that his team was surprised by India's strong showing.

"We knew that the Indians are a good team and capable of beating anyone, and when they came back for 2-2, we did worry.

"I guess, we were a bit lucky today to come away with three points. We made some mistakes today, like the one that allowed the Indians to score their second goal, but I am sure we will not repeat them in our future matches," he said.

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