India were given a tough challenge from a depleted Germany team in the bronze medal match of the Hockey World League Final 2017 but the German side got praise from the Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne. Germany had only 11 players to play from after other were either ill or injured. Marijne said that he was impressed with the system Germany played.
“It was a great performance from Germany and the goalkeeper (Mark Appel, who scored Germany’s goal). They fought really hard. We wanted to score early. The way they played, it was not a system we are used to. The players were a little bit scared to lose the ball,” Marijne said.
Germany lost the game 2-1 to finish fourth in the eight-team tournament but they played with no substitutes and their only goal was scored by Mark Appel, their reserve goalkeeper who played as a centre-forward.
The India coach said that these kind of matches are not easy to win such a game. He also added that India can improve on many points and they learnt many lessons from the tournament.
“I am happy with the win because matches like these are not easy. Because it all (11 vs 18) plays in the head. The most important thing is mentality with which we won the match. Of course, we can improve.
“The most important thing is consistency. That’s the thing we need to work on. We played at the highest level. Now I know what happens mentally, now I know what we need to change. We will take our time for that. We have to learn our lessons,” he said.
Germany coach Stefan Kermas also praised his team and said that it was really difficult for his team to play two games inside 24 hours and with so many players injured.
“I am really happy with the performance because it was quite difficult to play two matches in 24 hours with seven players injured. I think today it was really a good mix of strategic holding the ball and going forward looking for one on ones. We got seven penalty corners. So we had the chances. In the end we are disappointed we didn’t win,” Kermas said.
“It’s much more important to see the kind of spirit this team has developed to push each other in such an important match. We did everything we can today. Congrats to India.”
Kermas also pointed out to the improper scheduling of the tournament which he was unhappy with. He said that it could have been better.
“We didn’t have seven players today. The (unwell) guys got a little better today but with one day from fever, they were not okay to play. Like I said yesterday, I am not happy with the schedule,” Kermas said.
“Schedule is not fair for such an important tournament. There is possibility of a fair schedule. It is hard to play two matches in international hockey in a span of 24 hours without any recovery time.
“But complaining is not the right thing, especially after losing the game. You have to deal with it. I have never seen a tournament when one team has got one more day ahead of the final, one team has less. We will speak (with FIH),” added the coach.