Lucky to have opening encounter against Japan and getting noticed nationwide, Indian women flopped thereafter creating short-lived euphoria, and made NO SHOW at Rio. After five matches, India finished at bottom of the table. With four defeats, all one-sided, India added just a goal to its tally after bracing a brace over Japan while conceding over all 19.
To add salt to the wound, Argentina, which ran poor form at Rio, got a breather scoring five goals in the space of 13 minutes to hand over 5-0 humiliation and then bought out time. India met known continental rival Asian counterparts Japan in the opener. It was an equal encounter which was not so subsequently at Rio.
Despite trailing by two goals, goals apiece from Rani Ramphal and Lilima Minz India finished the day even, which created expectation, which was not there.
Every other team United States, Great Britain, Australia, and yesterday Argentina posted easy victories over India. Foreign import Neil Hawgood has nothing to offer in counter-strategy or motivation.
Not long back, Great Britain, States, Australia, South Korea were on even keel with India. India beat England and New Zealand at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and then at Melbourne.
However, even very recent history did not hold where it matter. Mere fact that qualification to Rio, though historic, doesn’t provide any logic for down the hill ‘no show’ for the girls, who got excellent preparations since qualified six months ago.
The team doesn’t have a drag flicker, known forwards were deployed at midfield and at back without proper replenishment upfront. Solo runs, poor clearance, and unforced errors are galore. The way its defence conceded own goals, at least twice, is thoroughly unprofessional. Defenders go to stop crosses from flank, only to see it gets deflected into the cage! Poor basics.
Indian women’s decline started in the last decade. Qualification to Olympics, whose domain India lost by breadth of hair thrice earlier, was a godsend to salve its sagging morale but the girls did not grab the opportunity.
|… courtesy stick2hockey|