Azlan Shah Cup: Oltmans dismayed at careless Harjot conceding penalty corner
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Ipoh (Malaysia): Indian hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans expressed his displeasure at the careless manner in which goalkeeeper Harjot Singh padded a ball outside the circle to concede a penalty corner to Canada in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.
India were leading through a third-minute goal when Harjot put out his pad to stop the ball outside the circle and gave Canada the first of their five penalty corners in the contest.
India prevailed 3-1 over Canada for their second win in three matches, placing them in the third place in the points table. India are behind Australia (nine points from three games) and New Zealand (eight points from four matches).
"He casually gave away the penalty corner. That s just unacceptable," Oltmans said after the match.
Harjot did well to effect a save by blocking the low penalty corner shot. He also saved a few dangerous Canadian moves, but was substituted by young custodian Akash Chikte at the end of the first quarter.
Chikte also brought off some five saves as India held their ground against Canada s goal-bearing moves.
Oltmans said Harjot has been playing hockey for a long time and should have known the consequences of such casual play.
"I took Harjot off the pitch because of this careless act. I cannot condone such acts," said Oltmans, who felt India played well in the second half and deserved to win this match.
Canadian coach Anthony Farry also said India were the better side and deservedly won the encounter.
"India showed their class and were the better side. The victory was well-deserved," said Farry, adding that his side would take the gains from this match to prepare for their Olympic Games encounter against India in Rio de Janeiro four months from now.
Both India and Canada are placed in Group B of the Olympic men s hockey competition.
Oltmans felt this match would not reflect much on the Olympic preparations.
"There will be a lot of changes in both teams between now and the Olympics," said Oltmans, who has brought several youngsters here to Ipoh to provide them international exposure.