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India's win over Azerbaijan fails to hide the chinks

Dec 07, 2007 11:11 AM IST India India

New Delhi: The movie Chak De India drew a lot of attention to women's hockey. Now the Indian women's team has won an international title defeating Azerbaijan in the final of the four-nation tournament.

Playing after a break of two months, the Indian team managed to get its act together against lowly Azerbaijan with Saba Anjum scoring the only goal of the match.

"Winning always makes a difference. The confidence from this match and the tournament win will show in their game," goalkeeping coach AB Subbaiah said.

India's opponents in the tournament, Malaysia, Italy and Azerbaijan were all ranked much lower.

With almost the entire first-choice forward line missing due to injuries the hosts had no option but to field a below strength team.

The lack of experience showed as India dominated all matches but could not find ways of pumping in the goals, opening up the debate whether enough attention is being given to preparing the younger generation.

"Junior level is different from senior level. There if a player makes a mistake we can point out 'if the stick is not down or you are not in the proper position to score'. Whenever they got a chance in the D they used to take. But they lack in converting half chances into goals," Subbaiah admitted.

Now the team will head to Australia where they will prepare for the Olympic qualifiers.

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