Asiad loss made Olympic qualification a lot tougher: Harendra

Vastavam web: Chief coach Harendra Singh slammed the Indian hockey team for making silly mistakes in the Asian Games semifinal against Malaysia and said the 6-7 loss has made Olympic qualification a lot tougher. Defending champions India were beaten in sudden death after both teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time. A gold medal would have secured India’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Malaysia are the deserving winners. We committed too many unforced errors and paid the price. We did not keep things simple. We tried to show our Indian skills and by doing that we lost the momentum. It is a big setback for Indian hockey. The road to Olympics is a lot bumpier now. We missed the easiest chance to qualify,” said Harendra. “We had a plan to shift and pass but we tried to hold the ball and made parallel passes. That cost us the game. Also, we committed too many unforced errors. It is unpardonable.”

Harendra, however, said India were not at all fault in the shoot-out. “Shoot out is anybody’s game. If we would have won, we should not have celebrated. In shoot-out, turning around is a problem. If your centre of gravity is low then it is easier (to turn around), if it is high then it becomes a problem,” he said. “I don’t think so, we took them as serious practice matches. We never take any team lightly. But this loss is a setback for Indian hockey. Coaches will come and go.”