India vs Belgium: I think we disappointed our country, says PR Sreejesh

India led 1-0 inside first quarter but then conceded thrice in the second half to to hand Belgium their first Olympics semifinal since Antwerp 1920.

By: PTI | Rio De Janeiro | Updated: August 15, 2016 1:00 pm
India vs Belgium, India Belgium hockey, India Belgium Olympics, India Belgium score, India Belgium Sreejesh, PR Sreejesh, Hockey India, Hockey Olympics, Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio Olympics, Olympics news, Olympics PR Sreejesh-led India were looking for their first medal finish at Olympics since 1980. (Source: PTI)

Indian hockey team’s captain PR Sreejesh has apologised for letting the nation down after his team’s 1-3 loss to Belgium in the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics.”Unfortunately we are touching the moon, but still we couldn’t reach there, we have fallen from there. It’s hitting really hard because the expectation was very high on us back home,” Sreejesh said after the loss on Sunday.

“I think we disappointed our country but still I think we players need to work really hard and perform well in the next coming tournaments.”

India were up 1-0 by Akashdeep Singh’s goal inside first quarter but the Sreejesh’s men conceded thrice in the second half to to hand Belgium their first Olympics semifinal since Antwerp 1920.

Stephan Dockier’s double in the third quarter and Tom Boon sealed the win in the 50th minute. The Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh was brilliant and saved a penalty corner to maintain India’s lead in the first half. “It’s very difficult, especially, for me as a goalkeeper, I feel like saves never count because it’s all about the scoring, the goal line.”

Asked about captaining India at the coveted Olympics, he said: “I never dreamt about this, leading the team anywhere. But still it’s a great honour and a great responsibility for me.

“In hockey, captaincy isn’t the most important but it’s all about outside of the field, how you are coordinating with the players, how you are bringing them together, getting their potential out.”

India coach Roelant Oltmans too was a disappointed man and said they should have won the match. “Of course I’m disappointed and not only about losing the quarterfinal, because you can win matches, you can lose. I’m disappointed about the kind of game that we played today. I have to give all the credit to Belgium who forced us to play like this. I have to look into my players, why they didn’t perform in the way that we had planned,” he said.

The eight-time former Olympic champions India still had a decent run at the Rio 2016 by making the quarters. “We are getting closer and closer (to the top of world hockey) but the next step still needs to be made. That’s what has been proven in today’s game,” the Dutchman said.

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  1. C
    Aug 15, 2016 at 10:35 am
    The Indian hockey team performed well in stages but could not handle pressure moments like in the last quarter of the game. Anyway, the national team has closed the gap and can be counted as among the top six hockey nations at the moment.
    1. G
      Aug 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm
      Hey Captain, you performed very well and have improved considerably. We would like to keep seeing this improvement going forward. Those who are disappointed need to see what they have done and if the country is proud of them first. lt;br/gt;We see hope and constant improvement in our team. Do not get bogged down. We will win with the team's effort.
      1. P
        Aug 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm
        Indian sports has dug it's grave in Rio and we should allow it's soul to rest in peace there. Memorial can be named after any political chap dead or alive.
        1. vidur kaushal
          Aug 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm
          You surely have.
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