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Despite last-minute blunder, Walsh has hopes from Indian team

PTI 01 Jun 2014, 16:09:19 PM IST
The Hague (Netherlands): Dejected he might be after India's loss to Belgium in their hockey World Cup opener but coach Terry Walsh said the performance was not bad and some “good aspects” of the team's gameplan came to fore.

India conceded a match-winner to Belgium just 15 seconds from close to lose 2-3 after keeping their higher-ranked rivals at bay for most part of the match.

They even led midway in the second session, a situation that seemed to have pleased Walsh.

“I would say that we're now getting competitive against the big teams. Our show's much better than what we were doing earlier,” said Walsh, asserting that the Indian players need to realise that the score-line is what matters in the end.

“How we play, and how close we finish, the fact is that the scores matter in the end,” he added, extolling his players to realise the difference this last-minute goal made.

India's opponent in the next outing tomorrow will be England, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Spain in their first Group A match yesterday.

After falling back to defend for most of the first session that ended with a late goal for the Belgians, India came back strongly after the interval.

Scoring twice in succession through Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh, India enjoyed a short-lived lead midway through the second half, but some defensive lapses conceded victory to Belgium.

“There were some good aspects to emerge from our game against Belgium. Having come this far, we should have held on to earn a point, but the last 30 second cost us dear,” said Walsh, who took over as India's coach six months ago.