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Spain hope to improve to qualify for semis

February 28, 2010 20:44 IST

Spain captain Pol Amat on Sunday said they were always in control of their first hockey World Cup match against South Africa despite the half-time score of 2-2 but need to improve their performance in remaining matches if they are to qualify for semifinals.

Spain were locked 2-2 at the breather before firing in two goals in the second half and Amat said they were always in control of the game.

"We expected South Africa to give us a tough fight and it happened as it was 2-2 at half time. But we were always in control. We played better in the second half and got the two goals," Amat said.

"We need to improve if we want to qualify for the semi-finals. The next match against Pakistan will be a tough one," he added.

Meanwhile, South Africa captain Austin Smith felt the newly introduced video referral system caused some delay in the match and lost of momentum.

"It is a new system and it is taking some time to take decisions. But once the system is used quite often it will get better and the decisions will be quicker," he said.

"Credit to Spain. We fought very well but it was difficult to come back from 2-4 down," Smith said.

Asked about his players protesting a few decisions by the umpire, Smith said, "We are quite a bit eccentric team. There may be some emotions in display by our players. For us every match will be tough as we would be playing higher ranked teams," he said.

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