India’s hopes for hockey gold crashed after a defeat in the semi-finals at the hands of Malaysia. Though it did not result in the main match-time, it remained a big trounce in the penalty shootouts. A difference of one goal changed the position of the Indian hockey team.
Maintaining its supremacy in all the previous five encounters at the pool stage, the team scored as many as 76 goals and conceded only three shocking goals. Its total goal tally was far better than the other sub-continental hockey giant Pakistan.
It seems quite strange that the men’s hockey team faced downright defeat in the last stage despite crossing initial hurdles unbeaten. Participating at the Asian games as defending champions, India is now struggling for a bronze medal with its arch-rival Pakistan.
Looking at both the teams of the Indian sub-continent, it seems at this juncture that the perfect stick play is somewhere shifting to other Asian teams like Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. The traditional hockey players, despite their compact preparations, lacked the mastery over the game.
It is at this juncture that hockey lovers think that other emerging stick-playing teams have sufficient power play over the astroturf. If India and Pakistan lose before other hockey-playing countries which had entered into the arena after them, it is certainly a point to be deeply pondered over.
Such a fine show of performance by our players brought only disappointment at the end as they were supposed to be losing their direct entry into the 2020 Olympics. If we are performing better in athletics at the Asiad, it is definitely owing to the athletes’ grit and work.
Our narrowed hearts burst into slow song at the semi-final results came in at the 18th edition of the Asian games in Indonesia. There were definitely stronger hockey teams in both the groups, it has now been confirmed. We were faulting in experience, skill and fast play. It can be said that our hockey players have not shown play skills like the cricket team in England.