Carvalho blames India's below-par performance for defeat
Chief Hockey Coach Joaquim Carvalho has blamed India's below-par performance and some serious blunders for their 0-2 defeat in the World Hockey Olympic qualifying final at the hands of Great Britain, who also did not put up an extra ordinary performance.
Following the defeat, India failed to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time in 80 years since their debut in 1928.
"We played to just 50 per cent of potential today. Our defence made a silly mistake in the very first minute that led to a goal and another error on the flanks resulted in a second goal against us. We could not recover from these setbacks," Carvalho said after the match.
He opined that it was not as if Britain played an extraordinary game, but rather, India helped their opponents by playing badly.
"It was like we losing the match rather than Britain winning. They capitalized on their chances and we did not. Our penalty corner drill too was rather bad and even if we had converted one, that would have lifted the team," he said.
Carvalho observed that the players were rather lethargic to begin with and once falling in arrears, they just failed to get going.
"The two yellow cards again affected our rhythm and flow. I thought that neither of the two yellow cards were warranted considering that the British players got away with body checks. I will not say that umpiring mistakes cost us the match, but these factors too contributed to our downfall," he said.
Carvalho rejected suggestions that the team did not appear sufficiently motivated for such an important match.
"I don't think it was about lack of motivation. To repeat myself, it was just that we played badly and at this level of the game, there is no way you can commit such mistakes and get away with them," he asserted.
Great Britain coach Jason Lee said the victory was mainly due to the hard work the team had done over the past three weeks and that his players had shown great character through the 70 minutes.
"We came here about a fortnight before the tournament began and have been practicing hard. For tonight's game against India, we had worked out structures and patterns, and I am happy that it paid off. The two early goals too helped us to take control, for it could have been the other way round had India got going instead of us," he said.