Hockey: women from India on the cusp of the Olympic classification, men distrustful of the return of Russia

BHUBANESWAR: A 5-1 victory for women in India, a 4-2 victory for men. The first round of Olympic hockey qualifiers here on Friday he put all the predictions to shame. But while leaving the Indian vespers breathing calmly, the men must have awakened anxiously on Saturday, with a Russian roulette waiting for them in the Kalinga Stadium .

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The male game, although it was not a battle of ups and downs, left many questions to answer. The fluidity of the midfield was missing, the battery of the short corner failed miserably (0/5), the change of goalkeepers cost two goals and the last minute nerves returned. On top of that, the Russians did not face significant interceptions to their rhythm-oriented tactics.

These are some of the questions that would have kept Graham Reid awake late at night.

I was disappointed with the way our boys played. I have told you about that. I hope there is a reaction tomorrow (Saturday), the Indian coach said Friday.

We can show everyone tomorrow how well we can play. I just asked them, who can play better tomorrow? Of course, everyone raised their hands. They will have the opportunity to show us how well they can play.

In fact, India can make a Dutchman, like the hockey The world saw last weekend in the first set of Olympic qualifiers Pakistan kept the Netherlands in a 4-4 draw in the first game and then were defeated 1-6 in the next to miss their second straight Olympic Games.

The Russian players looked more satisfied after the game, after having managed to change the score of their last two games when India defeated them 8-0 and 10-0 to a very respectable 4-2 score and, more importantly, it was planted Seeds of doubt in the minds of Indian players.

The reason we play so well is that our boys did exactly what our coaching staff told them to do, said Vladimir Konkin, the coach of the Russian team. That is why we had some good results. Actually, we had many opportunities for our strikers, but we lost them.

We will pursue the Indian team, we promise.


American women are also trying not to let the margin of four goals affect them, leaving one game to play.

It is always a challenge. We have lost four goals. But in my opinion, it's part time now. We have 60 minutes to play, said Captain Kathleen Sharkey.

The coach of the Indian women's team, Sjoerd Marijne, also knows that it is not over yet.

You know how the process can go. You don't get the ticket to Tokyo today. You can get it tomorrow (Saturday). You have nothing so far, he said after India's victory on Friday.