New Delhi: Elated after scripting a memorable 5-4 come-from-behind win over world's number one team Germany in the 5-8th place classification tie in Hero Hockey World League Final, India captain Sardar Singh said his team needed this "big win" to raise its confidence level.
This is, in fact, India's maiden win in the tournament and first against Germany in the last 10 years. India had last defeated the Germans in the 2004 Champions Trophy at Lahore.
"We were waiting for such a win for a long time. If we can beat big teams like Australia and Germany, it will definitely raise our confidence level," Sardar said at the post-match press conference.
"But it is just the beginning because we made a lot of mistakes and we need to work on those grey areas," he added.
Mandeep Singh turned out to be the star for India, slamming a brilliant hat-trick, while Rupinderpal Singh converted two penalty corners as India came from behind to stun Olympic champions at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
Delighted with the result, India's chief coach Terry Walsh praised his boys for playing as a unit.
"It was a very commendable performance from us. We have done a lot of things right today. But the most important thing is that we played as a team," Walsh said about his first win as India coach.
"It was a very close game but we matched the Germans. I am very proud of the way the guys have adjusted to different things in the game. The win was important for the psyche of the group."
Applauding Mandeep, Rupinder and skipper Sadar for their stellar display against Germany, Walsh said, "We approached the game just like any other game. But we tried to use our strength today. Rupinder was fantastic with penalty corners and Mandeep showed his scoring abilities upfront. Sardar dominated the midfield, which is tough to do against Germany.
"All the players did a commendable job."
India will now face Belgium in the fifth-sixth place play-off match on Saturday.