Raipur :Insisting that they lacked in structure and organisation against Netherlands, India chief coach Roelant Oltmans today lamented his players’ inability to deliver the final ball which according to him was costing his side dearly against top teams.
An inconsistent India lost 1-3 to Netherlands to slump to their second defeat in the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Final and finish at the bottom of Pool B.
“We should get more out of our circle penetrations. One of the things which is hurting us is the final pass. Our final decision needs to improve,” a visibly disappointed Oltmans said.
“If you enter the circle at a very high speed and you don’t take time to give the final ball to the right player then it’s disappointing. If you see how Holland scored the last goal, it was the right final pass and that is one of the things we need to change, especially at the top level.”
On the eve of the match against Netherlands, Oltmans had said that the hosts would have to do away with their habit of inconsistent performance if they want to progress in the world hockey but the words hardly had any impact on his team as they produced another lacklustre showing.
Netherlands took the lead in the 36th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mink van der Weerden before Mirco Pruijser (43rd) and Roel Bovendeert (54th) scored two field goals. India’s lone goal came from the sticks of Chinglensana Singh in the 47th minute.
Oltmans said after a decent opening half, the Indians lacked in structure and organisation.
“The opponents we are facing are top sides in the world. The first two quarters were evenly matched. Both teams did not create much chances, but we were a better side. We created more opportunities than them,” he observed.
“In the third quarter we made mistakes. Our structure and organisation was not up to the mark. We were quite unlucky with the second goal as we were one man short, although I am a bit doubtful about that card (to Rupinder Pal Singh).
“We went all out in the last quarter to see if we could get back into the goal and try to get a draw. We even scored one, but then conceded one,” he said.
“See we are working hard and in certain phases we can get lost. We have got some months to work. We need to be a little more patient,” he said.
“Every team do their homework. Their tactics were outstanding today and they were good. We know Holland were playing six in the defence and four attackers. We tried to find solution to this and how to cope with it.”
With one point from three matches, India finished at the bottom of Pool B and will take on Pool A toppers in the quarterfinal, starting Wednesday.
Netherlands, meanwhile, finished on top of Pool B and will take on the Pool A laggards Canada in the quarterfinal.