India looking to salvage pride

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

A demoralized Indian side plays for pride when they take on European powerhouse Germany in their last match of the Rabobank four-nation hockey tournament.

India looking to salvage pride

Amsterdam :

With their hopes of a place in the final dashed after two consecutive defeats, a demoralized Indian side plays for pride when they take on European powerhouse Germany in their last match of the Rabobank four-nation hockey tournament. The much-hyped specialized training in the USA seems to have borne little fruit with India looking miserable. The match against Pakistan was crucial to India for making it to the final after their defeat in the opening encounter to Olympic champions Holland. India was thoroughly exposed against a determined Pakistan side, who need to win against Holland in their last league match to progress to the summit clash. While Holland lead the pack with six points from two outings, both Germany and Pakistan have three points each. India have still not opened their account and already conceded as many as eight goals. India's coach Rajinder Singh is no doubt a worried man with neither the forward line nor the defense showing any form in a tournament that is the final lead-up to the Olympic competition. The presence of star striker Dhanraj Pillay and veteran Baljit Singh Dhillon seems to have made little difference to the side, clearly lacking motivation and cohesion as the performances so far have shown. India's embarrassing defeat against Pakistan was largely due to costly defensive lapses, especially on the part of Kanwalpreet Singh and goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan. The coach made it clear that such a performance was unacceptable and exhorted his wards to pull up their socks even though there was hardly anything at stake now. The Germans, who trounced Pakistan 6-0 but lost to Holland 3-1, will definitely go all out tomorrow, to secure their place in the finals. Germany, tied with Pakistan on the points table, would also be keen to ensure that they win by a big margin so that they maintain their better goal difference which could come into play in the event of Pakistan beating Holland. (PTI)



Topics : Hockey
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