Olympic hockey: India to play only for pride against Korea (Preview)August 4th, 2012 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS
London, Aug 4 (IANS) The Indian hockey team will be hoping for a win against Asian rivals South Korea in the London Olympics Sunday, following three straight defeats which have pushed it out of medal contention.
The eight-time Olympic champions, who are making a comeback to the Games after missing Beijing in 2008, are placed at the bottom of Group B after losses to the Netherlands, New Zealand and Germany, and will only be playing in the classification matches irrespective of the result in their last two matches against the Koreans and Belgium.
India’s performance in their 2-5 defeat by Germany Friday again flattered to deceive. Like the other group matches, the World No.10 showed promise initially before running out of steam. They will have to change that against the nimble Koreans, who are ranked sixth in the world.
The team has got a problem of plenty at the moment but of its primary concern would be their inability to defend. India have scored five goals in three games and let in 11, the most in their group.
Coach Michael Nobbs is livid with his side’s poor show and has questioned the commitment of the players.
“We have got some players out there just wanting to be Olympians whereas international hockey demands heart for a fight. There is nothing bigger than heart of a volunteer,” said Nobbs ahead of Sunday’s match.
“The national team needs players who show character to take up a challenge and are willing to commit their heart and body for the country’s prestige,” the Australian added.
South Korea, on the other hand, are third in the group behind likely semi-finalists Germany and the Netherlands.
They started the tournament with 2-0 win against New Zealand but their campaign stuttered with defeats to Germany and Belgium.
The loss against lowly-ranked Belgium, who are 16th, has stunned the South Korean team and the Asian team will be looking forward to make ammends for it against India. They have the pace and the power to rattle India.
India will have to dig deep to pierce a rock solid Korean defence which has broken just thrice in the competition. The problem area for them has been the attack with a single goal in the last two games.
- Azlan Shah: India bounce back to beat South Korea 2-1 - May 25, 2012
- Celebrations as India hockey back in Olympic race - Feb 27, 2012
- Revelry as India in Olympic race, hard road ahead - Feb 27, 2012
- Olympics hockey: India crushed 1-4 by South Korea - Aug 05, 2012
- India face Holland in Olympic hockey opener - May 22, 2012
- Olympic Hockey: Tough opener for India (Preview) - Jul 29, 2012
- Chettri to lead Indian hockey team in Olympics (Lead) - Jun 11, 2012
- Chettri to lead Indian hockey team in Olympics - Jun 11, 2012
- Players' obsession is only to win: Hockey coach Michael Nobbs - Jun 17, 2012
- Olympic hockey: India take on New Zealand in pressure game (Preview) - Jul 31, 2012
- Olympic hockey: India heading for lowest finish (Preview) - Aug 06, 2012
- South African men's hockey team qualifies for London Olympics - May 06, 2012
- Olympics: Mary Kom keeps alive India's medal hopes, hockey team crushed (India Roundup) - Aug 06, 2012
- Olympic hockey: India looking for consolation win (Preview) - Aug 10, 2012
- Olympic hockey: A test of character for India - Aug 02, 2012
Tags: asian rivals, asian team, beijing, heart of a volunteer, hockey team, indian hockey, international hockey, koreans, london olympics, losses, medal contention, olympians, olympic champions, olympic hockey, olympics, prestige, running out of steam, semi finalists, south korea, three games