Azlan Shah 2017: Roelant Oltmans Bemoans India's 'Non-execution of Game Plan' Against Australia
India hockey coach Roelant Oltmans feels his team faltered in executing its game plan after taking the lead against defending champions Australia in the lost Sultan Azlan Shah Cup game on Tuesday.
Roelant Oltmans. (Getty Images)
Ipoh: India hockey coach Roelant Oltmans feels his team faltered in executing its game plan after taking the lead against defending champions Australia in the lost Sultan Azlan Shah Cup game on Tuesday.
India opened the scoring in the 25th minute through Harmanpreet Singh but then conceded three field goals to suffer a defeat in the preliminary league fixture.
"Until we scored our goal, we played fantastic hockey. After the first two minutes, we controlled the game and had a lot of good attacks. But it started going down after we took the lead," the coach added.
"Losing to a very good team is part of the game. We all know that Australia are a very good side," said Oltmans.
"We have matched them in several matches. But in the end, it is not about matching the rivals. It is about winning. Winning is something we still need to learn," Oltmans asserted.
"It's a right knee injury. We're yet to see what exactly it is. We have not gone for X-ray yet," the coach said.
"Of course, nobody likes to be injured. There's no doubt that he's a fantastic goalkeeper, but his going off the pitch was not the turning point," he said. "We got back into the game and we got opportunities."
Oltmans feels his team's performance was below par in the third quarter when Australia claimed the lead.
"We were a bit unlucky with the last goal. From our point of view, one of the Australian player clearly touched the ball with his foot," he said.
"But that was not the reason for the defenders to stop doing their job."
Three Indian defenders saw Australian striker Tom Wickham move sideways in front of them, without being tackled. After moving to the goalmouth, Wickham slammed the ball into the goal.
As the second highest ranked team in the competition, India were expected to qualify for the final along with Australia. But that could get complex after India were held to a 2-2 draw by Great Britain in the opening fixture.
Oltmans said it was too early to talk about the final and another game against Australia.
"We have four points, that's it. No more, no less," said Oltmans. "Other results are not in our hands.
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