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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pakistan hockey coach confident of beating India in Asiad

KARACHI: Pakistan's Dutch hockey coach Michel van den Heuvel is confident that his team will turn the tables on India in the Asian Games after suffering two consecutive defeats at the hands of the old rivals.

India beat Pakistan comprehensively in their last two meetings - in the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games - but van den Heuvel is hopeful that things will be different in the November 12-27 Asian Games.

Pakistan and India are placed in the same group and will meet in a mouthwatering clash November 20 in Guangzhou.

"I am very sure that with the team we have got, we would be in a position to give India a befitting response," Heuvel said in an interview.

"I think there were quite a few things that went against us during the Commonwealth Games. I was new to the job and quite a few players were also fresh and playing their first ever mega event," he said.

"We had to play tough back-to-back matches against Australia and India without a rest day. The Indians, on the other hand, had much needed rest and that turned out to be one of the reasons of our defeat in the end."

The Dutchman said that Pakistan was also missing services of key players in the Commonwealth Games.

"We played badly during the first twenty minutes against India and conceded four goals. During the rest of the match, we had an upper hand. When you concede too many goals, you get little chance of making amends. Secondly, we were also missing services of some of the key players," he said.

The coach said his team will go all out for the Asian Games title in a bid to confirm its place in the 2012 London Olympics.

"I know well about the importance of the event and that is why we have been training hard to give our best in the competition.

"I think we have some very good players and if we succeed in fielding our best available team, we would be in a position to beat the best teams," he said.

(source:indiatimes.com)

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