The Indian men’s hockey team had a relatively mixed ride in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals this year. While on one hand, they netted in as many as 23 goals in 6 matches on the other they suffered a couple of crucial defeats on the trot. This once more resurfaced their age old problem of being unable to maintain a consistent string of results which ultimately saw them crash out in the quarter-finals stage.
The Indian side began on a positive note when they defeated Scotland 4-1. It was their first win of the Hockey World League Semi-final as Ramandeep Singh scored two goals while Akashdeep and Harmanpreet Singh scored a goal each. Then in the next match, India beat Canada 3-0. After that India thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan 7-1. This was a massive result for India as it boosted their confidence.
However, they faced a stiff challenge against Netherlands in their final Pool B match of the Hockey World League Semi-Final. This is where they succumbed to a defeat in their fourth match as Netherlands won the match by 3-1.
From here on the Indian side lost the plot displaying their inconsistency and losing their second consecutive match to Malaysia. In a frustrating performance, India lost 3-2 to Malaysia in the quarter-finals. After the loss coach, Oltmans said the team was ‘nervous’, because of which they could not execute the gameplan. This was India’s second defeat against Malaysia in less than two months. However, India once more came back strongly to defeat Pakistan 6-1.
Hence, this shows the inconsistent performances that India has been delivering over the past couple of weeks in the tournament. Many a time despite being on top of the game, the Indian side missed a lot of opportunities, especially in the last quarter. This led the game slip away from their grasp in a crucial stage of the match.