We deserved to win, says India junior hockey coach
It was a hard-earned victory for India as twice the hosts had to come from a goal down to salvage three points from the encounter.
New Delhi: India's chief coach Greg Clark begs to differ with his Canadian counterpart that the hosts were lucky to earn the 3-2 win Saturday, saying his wards were the deserving winner in the Pool C encounter as they completely dominated the match.
It was a hard-earned victory for India as twice the hosts had to come from a goal down to salvage three points from the encounter. Drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh scored the winner for India in the penultimate minute of the match after Mandeep Singh (30th) and Akashdeep Singh (5-th) sounded the nets to level the scores.
By virtue of this win, India has kept alive their hopes in the tournament but they need to beat Korea in their final pool match to secure their quarter-final berth. "I don't think so because we had far more opportunities than Canada. Statistics shows that we had twice as many circle penetrations. We also had five penalty corners against their one," Clark said when asked about Canada coach Aaron Guest's comments.
"We got the victory right at the end but we fully dominated the match. If we would have taken the chances it would have been a comfortable victory, he said. Just after the match, Guest said that India should consider themselves lucky to pocket full three points from the match.
Clark, however, sounded cautious and said the Indians had to work on their accuracy if they wish to prolong their journey in the mega-event. "The nature of the win raised a few alarm bells but there were a lot of positives to take from this match," he said.
"We created plenty of chances. It was just about being accurate once you are inside the opposition circle." Both India and Korea are on three points each from two outings but Korea have better goal difference than the Indians and only a draw in their last match would be enough for the Koreans to pip the home team and go forward.
India, on the other hand, face a must-win situation as Netherlands have already qualified for the quarterfinals with two wins from as many matches. Asked Clark about India?s crucial last pool encounter, the South African said, "After the result against Netherlands we knew we had to get two results in or favour. So the scenario remains the same."