India gear up for Pakistan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India would be keen to make amends by dishing out their best against traditional rivals Pakistan.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Amsterdam :

After missing out on a golden opportunity to beat Olympic winners Holland in their opening tie, India would be keen to make amends by dishing out their best against traditional rivals Pakistan. India promised a lot but delivered too little enroute their 0-2 loss against the hosts, and in order to keep their hopes alive of a place in the finals of the four-nation meet, India need to beat Pakistan. The match between the Asian powerhouses promises to offer riveting hockey since Pakistan would also be keen in improving their game after their loss in the opening encounter against Germany, by a 0-6 margin. Pakistan's rout could also be attributed to their failure to grab chances that came their way as they ended up muffing opportunities including a penalty stroke against. Indian coach, Rajinder Singh acknowledged that his side could not afford to miss scoring opportunities in crucial matches, they wasted as many as seven penalty corners and five sitters. "Our forwards missed so many goals and if you miss goals against such a good team like Holland you cannot win," Rajinder said. "We are giving our young players, such as Sandeep Singh, a chance for the short corner conversions and he has improved but he also has to work a lot of hours more," he added. Pakistan coach Roelant Oltmans, on the other hand, was looking for a more organized effort from his boys. "There was a total lack of organization in the team and the team did not play according to the game plan. There was lack of a defensive structure," Oltmans said. The last time the two sides played each other was in March this year when Pakistan drubbed India 4-2 in the bronze medal play-off of the Olympic qualifiers in Madrid. The tournament here is quite important for both the teams since this would be their final competitive event before the Olympics. Eight-time gold medallists India have not won a medal since 1980 and three-time winners Pakistan have not managed a podium finish since 1992. (PTI)

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