The India men’s team is fancied to win the title in the Hockey World League. It still is the hot favourite. In fact, it started its quest for the top slot on a positive note, thrashing Fiji by a huge margin.
But its reputation got a beating when it conceded a goal against minnows Oman in
their second round-robin league match on Wednesday. The goal came at the fag end of the first session.
Oman earned a penalty corner and Mohammed Hubais made no mistake.
Overall, India dominated the contest and defeated Oman 9-1. But conceding a goal to a nation ranked 36th in the world, has exposed the flaws in goalkeeping. Goalkeeping, in fact, was the weak link of the home team even before the London Olympic Games, and it continues to be a worrying factor for the team management.
PR Sreejesh is supposed to be one of the most experienced keepers in the country, but the way he let Hubais's push go past him today, he needs to do more hard work to improving his reflexes.
Earlier, Bangladesh upset China 3-2 in the second league match of the day. And, Fiji continued their poor run in the tournament, this time losing to Ireland 0-13.
Meanwhile, Round 3 of the Hockey World League will commence in June in Malaysia and the Netherlands. The fourth and final round will be held in India. Being the hosts, even if India are not able to make an impact in Round 3, they will play the final round.