Oltmans disappointed with Indian men’s hockey team performance

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 13 (IANS) Indian men’s hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans expressed his dissatisfaction with his wards’ performance following a disappointing draw against Canada at the ongoing Rio Olympics here.

The Indians were held 2-2 by lower-ranked Canada in their final group game here on Friday that failed to guarantee them a third place in Pool B.

The Dutchman was clearly not happy with the way India conceded two goals in 19 minutes with Scott Tupper scoring back to back penalty corners for the north Americans.

“I’m not pleased with today’s performance. We should have scored more goals in the second and third quarters. If we did that we would have been ahead.

“We kept Canada alive and gave the opportunity to draw, that’s something we have to learn,” Oltmans told reporters after their match here at Pitch 1 of Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro.

“The energy level dipped especially in the second quarter where so many chances to score goals were missed. That was the quarter we should have made the difference in my point of view,” Oltmans added.

Ramandeep Singh deflected a ball in near the right post from a long slap from V.R. Raghunath to make it 2-1 for India in the 41st minute. Tupper brought Canada on level with a successful penalty corner conversion in the 52nd minute.

“We took the advantage but could not make it happen. We conceded penalty corner and a goal again. They should have been aware of such situations,” Oltmans said.

Oltmans felt that the Indian team lost their focus after scoring two goals.

“You should not get overexcited after scoring a goal. You should just stick to your structure,” former Pakistan coach added.

India may face a strong Belgium team in the quarter-finals here on Sunday and the coach felt that it will be a tough encounter.

“A quarter-final is always a strong game. There’s no doubt about it. We played Belgium a couple of times in the near past. World Hockey League (0-1 in December) and the Champions Trophy (1-2 in June this year).

“Both times we lost by one goal difference. All are strong sides. Let’s see what we can manage here. It will be an exciting match,” the experienced coach said.

India’s captain and goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh said they would have to pull up their socks before the big match.

“The energy level was a bit low, we conceded from penalty corners and some poor goals. We got opportunities and could not convert them,” the Kerala lad said.



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