Victory a gift to Indian people, says coach Brasa
Eleven goals in an emotionally charged India-Pakistan hockey match and the victory was a great gift for Indian people who got what they richly deserved, said coach Jose Brasa.india Updated: Oct 10, 2010 22:11 IST
Eleven goals in an emotionally charged India-Pakistan hockey match and the victory was a great gift for Indian people who got what they richly deserved, said coach Jose Brasa.
In a media interaction immediately after India's 7-4 win against Pakistan in the concluding league match of the men's hockey competition of the Commonwealth Games, Brasa said it was a very emotional match that called for control on and off the field.
This was India's second victory by a three-goal margin against Pakistan at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here, having beaten the neighbours 4-1 in the World Cup in February.
"It was very emotional. We had a tough time controlling our bench and also the players on the pitch. Fortunately, the half-time helped us to cool down the players and helped them focus on the game," he said.
The 7-4 scoreline matched the one in 2003 Champions Trophy in Amsterdam when India beat Pakistan in the league stage, but lost to them in the bronze medal playoff.
On the four goals that Pakistan scored, Brasa attributed those to lapses in the defence and felt that they could have been avoided.
"But I feel proud to have witnessed such a match in front of a big crowd. The Indian fans deserved the victory and also 11 goals in a match. I know they have waited for a long time for this," said Brasa.
When asked about Tuesday's semi-final against England, the coach quipped: "Tonight we celebrate and think about the semi-final tomorrow."
Meanwhile, two of Pakistan's senior most players, Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi sought to downplay the defeat by saying the team was preparing for next month's Asian Games.
"I think, the Asian Games is more important than the Commonwealth Games as it is a qualifying event for the Olympics. Like I said before the tournament, we are preparing for the Asian Games," said Butt.
In parting, he warned: "Let's see…the next time we meet will be at a neutral venue in China and it would be different then. Today, it was Pakistan's worst performance."
Abbasi admitted that the early goals by India put Pakistan under pressure and it told on the younger players for whom it was a new experience.
"There was a lot of pressure on the junior players in our side. We made mistakes in the defence and India capitalised on them. We had our chances, too, but wasted them, but still we scored four goals and didn't stop fighting," he said.
When asked about the collapse of Pakistan defence that had conceded only one goal to World champions Australia Saturday, Abbasi said the team was still to recover fully from that game.
"It was a tough match against Australia Saturday while the Indians had an easy match (against Scotland). Today, our defence did not withstand the pressure like it had yesterday," he said.