The Indian hockey team will be hoping for a win against Asian rivals South Korea in the London Olympics today, following three straight defeats which have pushed them out of medal contention.
The eight-time Olympic champions, who are making a comeback to the Games after missing Beijing in 2008, are placed at the bottom of Group B after losses to the Netherlands, New Zealand and Germany, and will only be playing in the classification matches irrespective of the result in their last two matches against the Koreans and Belgium.
India’s performance in their 2-5 defeat by Germany on Friday again flattered to deceive. Like the other group matches, the World No 10 showed promise initially before running out of steam. They will have to change that against the nimble Koreans, who are ranked sixth in the world.
The team has got a problem of plenty at the moment but of its primary concern would be their inability to defend. India have scored five goals in three games and let in 11, the most in their group.
Coach Michael Nobbs is livid with his side’s poor show and has questioned the commitment of the players. “We have got some players out there just wanting to be Olympians whereas international hockey demands heart for a fight. There is nothing bigger than heart of a volunteer,” said Nobbs ahead of today’s match.
“The national team needs players who show character to take up a challenge and are willing to commit their heart and body for the country’s prestige,” the Australian added. South Korea, on the other hand, are third in the group behind likely semi-finalists Germany and the Netherlands.
They started the tournament with 2-0 win against New Zealand but their campaign stuttered with defeats to Germany and Belgium.