India Team ‘Neglected To Create’ Scoring Opportunities V The Dutch: Coach Janneke

Bhubaneswar:  Indian women’s hockey chief coach Janneke Schopman said on Sunday that her players “neglected to create” more scoring opportunities in their 1-3 loss in the shootout to the Netherlands in the second match of the FIH Pro League double-header at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.

India could have built on the thrilling 2-1 win in the first leg on Friday, but they allowed the visitors to equalise late into the second match to make it 1-1. Netherlands then won the shootout 3-1 to claim a bonus point.

“I think we played well for most of the game. In the first three quarters, we put a lot of pressure on them, but we neglected to create more outcomes. We little bit rushed in the end phase, and unfortunately, we didn’t score PCs. And, in the fourth quarter, we lacked a little bit composure and lost the ball towards them,” Janneke said.

Indian women’s team captain Savita lamented that her team got several opportunities in regulation time but could not covert those chances.

“They (Dutch) played well as compared to last game. Both the teams got many chances. It was a tight game and I think we couldn’t convert our chances. And, in shootouts, it is always 50-50, but I think it’s a part of the learning process.”

The Indian women’s team has been awarded six points due to the cancellation of the double-header against England, which was initially scheduled on April 2 and 3. The England women’s team had to cancel their travel due to a high number of Covid-19 cases and injuries affecting the team.

With these six points and a point earned from the second match against the Netherlands, India have climbed to the top of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 table with 22 points.

Speaking about the home leg of their Pro League campaign, Janneke said, “We want to grow and I am not necessarily looking at other teams. I am looking at ourselves. And, if we look at the initial games we played against China in Oman and then here against Spain, I think we made a lot of steps. We did a lot of things better as compared to initial matches, but still lots to learn, lots to improve.

“I am quite happy with how we’ve grown in managing the game, understanding and the awareness of what we need to do and when we want to do, so this was great for us to play these home games and learn from them,” she added.

With less than 100 days to go for the FIH Women’s World Cup 2022, Savita said that the Pro League experience is helping the team prepare for the marquee event.

“We’ve played our Pro League matches against quality teams, and it’s been great learning for us. It is really helping us prepare for the upcoming tournaments, especially the World Cup,” she said.