India defenders looked like a bunch of amateurs
This was one of the most disappointing performances by the Indian team in the World Cup and, with this display they have virtually put an end to their chances of qualifying for the last-four stage. Dhanraj Pillai writes.Updated: Mar 05, 2010, 01:29 IST
This was one of the most disappointing performances by the Indian team in the World Cup and, with this display they have virtually put an end to their chances of qualifying for the last-four stage.
The defenders looked like a bunch of amateurs as the Spanish forwards, led by Pol Amat, kept tearing into them time and again.
The Indian forward line did well to carry the ball up to the rival scoring circle, but once there, they lacked the imagination and presence of mind needed to get past the tight marking of the Spanish defenders.
I feel coach Brasa was rotating the forwards and defenders too quickly, not giving them enough time to settle down.
The Indian players normally require 15-20 minutes to get into a rhythm, but now that they are training under a Spanish coach, they should have got used to his methods.
The performance of both Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh was hugely disappointing as we earned enough penalty-corners for Sandeep to change the complexion of the game.
I feel India is the only team that has not improved with every match as compared to Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea and even England, who have adjusted to the conditions incredibly well.
It is but natural for a team to begin a tournament on a rusty note, but that team's greatness lies in how fast it adjusts to the playing conditions and uses each match to get into rhythm — slowly but surely peaking towards the ultimate rounds.
Another thing, which I have marvelled during the course of playing for India is how these teams know exactly which tournament they need to peak in? India should learn from their methods of preparation and accordingly prepare for major tournaments like the Olympic Games, the World Cup and the Champions Trophy.
While The Netherlands are leading the Pool with two wins, Germany have built a good cushion of goals after trouncing Canada 6-0.
Korea should have come away with more from their match against Argentina, and their last-gasp 2-1 victory — which makes for a poor goal advantage — may prove decisive in the end.
Korea play New Zealand next and, while they should be looking forward to notching a further three points, the
Kiwis are no pushovers. New Zealand did manage to score first against the Dutch, raising hopes of pulling off an upset, before getting swamped.
The Dutchmen, looking for their fourth World Cup title, hammered in three quick goals and then took control of the game, doing just enough to ensure three points and a position atop the table.