As Indian stop-gap hockey coach Roelant Oltmans pointed out, “No team can score of every opportunity, scoring chances will always be there and it is unfair to expect any team to make the most of every scoring opportunity.” Point taken, but like every team does, there is always room for improvement since every team looks to outwit their opponent.
Indian have hardly been ‘challenged’ in the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 Tournament. Barring the first half of their third league game against Thailand, where they were not allowed to break free – the Indians found it hard to open the scoring, although their nerves eased a lot when Amandeep Kaur finally scored in the 25th minute but not before the Thai girls made it exceedingly hard for them to score by throwing everything inside their ‘D’.
That perhaps was the only time that the Indian team management had to ‘think hard’ about their game or else, it has been pretty much smooth sailing. India began their campaign in rollicking fashion, clobbering Ghana 13-0 before downing Poland 2-0 – a game they dominated but could not add any more goals to their kitty. They rounded off their third league tie with a 6-0 win over Thailand.
The Indians made a mockery of their quarterfinal tie against Singapore handing them a 10-0 drubbing and now faces Thailand in the semifinals. The Indian forwardline has clicked with Vandana Katariya leading the way with 10 goals, including two hat-tricks.
All and said done, it is safe to assume that the Indian eves are looking good to win the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 Tourney. At least, if their hitherto performance is anything to go by, it is difficult to believe that this 13th ranked side can be halted in their tracks by any other team.