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'India played with brain and not emotions against Pak'

Source: PTI
March 01, 2010 10:12 IST
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India coach Jose Brasa hailed his boys after they beat Pakistan 4-1 in their opening match of the men's hockey World Cup, in Delhi on Sunday, saying they "played with brain and not emotions".

"It was great we won 4-1. The boys played really well and they deserved to win. They played with brain and not with emotions," said Brasa, who had before the match advised his players to cut off emotions when taking on the archrival.

"But it was just a match and we got three points and nothing else. We should keep our feet on the ground as we have a long way to go, with very tough matches coming up," he added at the post-match press conference.

"But no doubt the boys played to the plan. We played really well in the first half. We played as a team. We had a lot of control in the first half. Our midfield played well, cutting off the passes by Pakistan. In the second half we lost some concentration," he added.

He said Sandeep Singh played very well but can do better in remaining matches.

"Sandeep played really well but he can do better and I think he will do better in the coming matches," Brasa said.

Asked why Sreejesh Raveendran manned the Indian goal instead of Adrian D'Souza, he said, "There is no injury or anything on Adrian. We have two very good goalkeepers and we thought Sreejesh would do well today."

Captain Rajpal Singh said his team had planned to play an attacking game and earn a lot of penalty-corners and the strategy clicked.

"We had a plan to play an attacking game and get lots of penalty-corners, we did that. We played really well in the first half but Pakistan tried to bounce back in the second half," he said.

Asked whether India really outplayed Pakistan, he replied, "We played better than them. But now we have some tough matches coming up and we hope to play even better."

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Shahid Ali Khan conceded that India played much better than Pakistan, but promised that his side will bounce back in the tournament.

"Full credit to India, they played really well. They dominated the first half and our forwardline did not click. The Indian defence marked our forwards really well. We had some control in the second half. But it was difficult to come back from 0-2 down after the first half," he said.

"We were also unlucky that we missed two chances as Sohail Abbas's two drag flicks hit the cross bar. Had his first penalty-corner been converted it might been a different thing. But it is a long way to go in the tournament and we will bounce back in the remaining matches," he added.

Shahid said the Indian midfield domination made all the difference.

"We used to control midfield against them but it was different today. The Indians controlled the midfield that made all the difference," he said.

"We planned to build attacks through short passes but it never really happened. At times our players were just trying to release the ball from the striking circle and sent down long passes," Shahid said.

The Pakistan coach was happy with the performance of drag-flicker Sohail.

"He scored a goal and then missed two chances with the ball, hitting the crossbar twice. What more would I want ," he added.

Pakistan captain Zeshan Ashraf said after the first half deficit his side could not come back.

"India controlled the first half and we tried to control the game in the second half. But the first half 0-2 made the difference."

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