India coach Roelant Oltmans warns that today's fifth to eighth position classification match against Pakistan will not be as easy as their league stage outing last Sunday when Manpreet Singh & Co. hammered the arch-rivals
Indian players celebrate a goal against Pakistan during the Hockey World League group match last Sunday
A day before the quarters-final against Malaysia, Indian coach Roelant Oltmans clearly stated that the Malaysians were 'tricky' opponents. It turned out to be just that on Thursday in the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Finals. And, what also came to the fore, was the Malaysian need and desire to win was much greater than the Indians. On Thursday after India's stunning 2-3 loss to Malaysia, Oltmans admitted that, too.
It is not all over. Oltmans still has one more stressful match to go against arch-rivals Pakistan again for a 5th-8th position classification match today. He said: "I have just finished the Malaysia match and to be honest I was not thinking about the match with Pakistan. I was expecting us to beat Malaysia and play Argentina in the semi-finals."
"For sure it won't be 7-1 or anything like that. Pakistan will be looking to take the opportunities they get against India. They did that against Argentina today (Pakistan lost 1-3). But first we need to take the opportunities that come our way. Pakistan is always a tough team to play.
"As I say never take any opponent lightly and we are not doing that."
The ongoing event is a qualifier for both the World League Finals and the 2018 World Cup. While other teams were stretching themselves to get into one or the other or both, India, by virtue of being hosts to both events, have already secured a place. So could the desire for some other teams like Malaysia be greater than India? Oltmans said: "There is always a slight difference between a team that knows they have to win to get somewhere and a team that is already there. But you still want to
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