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Hockey: Nobody expected us to win against Holland, says Oltmans

Bhubaneswar: His native country ended up on the losing side today, but India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans was a relieved man after the hosts stunned the Netherlands 3-2 in a Pool B match of the Hero Champions Trophy hockey tournament here.

Roelant Oltmans
Roelant Oltmans

He said what went in India's favour was that "nobody expected" them to win against the mighty the Netherlands and that too after back-to-back defeats in the tournament.

"Nobody expected us to win against the Netherlands today. We were the underdogs," he told reporters after the match.

India produced an inspired performance to register their first win over the Netherlands in 18 years when they stunned the World Cup and Olympic silver medallists Dutch side in the high-voltage encounter to finish third in Pool B.

The win not only broke India's two match losing streak, but also helped the Sardar Singh and Co to break their 18 year winning jinx against the mighty Dutch. India last defeated the Netherlands way back in 1996 in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Barcelona.

It is also India's first win over the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy after 1986 in Karachi.

The other positive that came out of the match against the Netherlands was that India could able to convert their chances.

"The positive is that we scored thrice against a side which conceded just one goal against Germany coming into the match," Oltmans said. "From the start, we played aggressive, attacking hockey and will continue to play according to our style in the remaining matches. We showed our potential in the last two matches which we lost but we did not have luck in our side," he said.

Oltmans, however, said India will need to address a few areas, especially conceding goals quickly after scoring, before the quarterfinal duel against Belgium on Thursday.

"We need to rectify some mistakes. We need to stop conceding goals after scoring one," he said.

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