Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 02:25 PM IST

Indian hockey eves have got the belief, just look at their journey:coach Hawgood

Updated: Aug 08, 2016 02:58 IST
Rio de Janeiro, Aug.8 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team coach Neil Hawgood has complimented his wards for their gallant fight-back to earn a point in their first Olympic appearance in 36 years in Rio de Janeiro.

India staged a fine rally from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with Japan, who in the end simply tried to ward off a third goal against them.

"It is only in the second half that the girls started to play the way they actually can," said coach Hawgood. "The girls got their belief back and look at the way they had the Japanese rivals under pressure."

Japan took the initial lead in the last minute of the first quarter through Emi Nishikori. The Indians were still playing a defensive game and were two goals behind at half-time when Mie Nakashima shot on target in the 28th minute.

There was seemed difference in the Indian game-plan in the second quarter, which coach Hawgood says was because the girls had not settled down.

"Two minutes did not seem enough to settle them down at quarter-time. After all we were playing in the Olympic Games after a 36-year gap since their only appearance at Moscow in 1980,"said coach Hawgood.

"The quarter time was about dealing with the damage," said the coach. "Half-time was about the belief part," he said.

The half-time talk seemed to have done wonders for the Indian girls, who seemed to have got their belief back. What the spectators then saw was the Indian girls launch all-out raids on the Japanese citadel.

It was a transformed performance, which Japanese player Mie Nakashima said stunned them. "Our legs sort of stopped and we stopped running," she said, dejected at having let go a two-goal lead.

Japan were seeking to avenge their loss to India in the Hockey World League at Antwerp last year, which earned India their first Olympic appearance since 1980. The Japanese girls had to wait until South Africa's refusal to play to ensure they made the trip to Brazil.

"This one point is the first we have got in 36 years at the Olympics, so we ought to be happy," said the Indian women's hockey team coach.

Star striker Rani Rampal brought India back in the game with her quick-silver strike into the cage early in the second half and Lilima Minz restored parity in the 40th minute on a rebound.

"You should have seen their faces when they actually realized what they had achieved in the end," said Hawgood.

"People talk about journeys. Watching the journey of these girls is the best one I've got," said Hawgood.

"I had the best seat to watch people get involved and engaged in an Olympic Games, and these were girls who really had no idea what's the Olympic Games," the coach said.

"Just to see their faces was a delight. It's like a game changer for them. It gives them a little bit of respect about what they're doing," said Hawgood.

"They're here, they haven't been here for so long. Indian hockey has always been about the men, but today the girls can actually stand up and have a little bit of attention across a billion people," he said.

Hawgood said he expected "A billion people sitting in India and saying - Wow, look at that. They can compete.They've got to ride the emotion and hopefully they can continue that.

India will now lock horns with Great Britain in their next group clash on Tuesday.(ANI)

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar.30 (ANI): The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 arrived at an Edhi home in Karachi on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Mar.30 (ANI): India opener KL Rahul, who smashed two half-centuries during his side's eight-wicket win in the series- deciding Dharamsala Test against Australia, has climbed 11 places to a career-high rank of 11th spot in the latest ICC Rankings for Test batsmen.

Full Story >>

West Vancouver [Canada], Mar.30 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne has asserted that his team are fully geared up to make a good start in the upcoming all-important Hockey World League Round 2.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.30 (ANI): Indian skipper Virat Kohli has clarified his comments about his cooling off relationship with Australian players at the end of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, saying that his statement has been blown out of proportion.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India]. Mar.30 (ANI): Taking a cheeky dig at former Australian batsman Brad Hodge over his nasty comments and subsequent apology to Indian skipper Virat Kohli, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said "March 30 will be remembered as 'World Apology Day'.

Full Story >>

Miami [Florida], Mar.30 (ANI): Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal produced a rich vein of form as he stormed into the semi-finals of the Miami Open after registering straight sets victory over 13th seed Jack Sock in the men's singles event here on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Melbourne [Australia], Mar.30 (ANI): Former Australian Test cricketer Brad Hodge has issued a heartfelt apology to Virat Kohli as well to the Indian fans for his recent nasty comments regarding the Indian skipper's shoulder injury and his participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.30 (ANI): Responding to Carolina Marin's statement where she said that she wouldn't let Saina Nehwal become the world number one, the Indian ace shuttler has said that she has already been on that position and her priority right now is to win tournaments.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar.29 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has imposed a year-long ban and a fine of one million dollar on left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan for violating its anti-corruption code during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar.29 (ANI): The Australian media continued their nasty tirade against Virat Kohli branding the Indian skipper as "classless" and "childish", despite the Steve Smith-led side slumping to a defeat in Dharamsala and giving up the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Mar.29 (ANI): South Africa has finished second on the ICC Test Team Rankings at the April 1 cut-off date after the third and the final Test against New Zealand in Hamilton ended in a draw on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar.29 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said that their Indian counterpart has so far not contacted them regarding the holding of any bilateral series between two sides.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Mar.29 (ANI): With four successful seasons completed in a span of just two years and the sport's ever increasing popularity, Pro Kabaddi League is now set to expand to up to four new geographies.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru [India], Mar.29 (ANI): 20-year-old Sumit from Sonepat, who has recently been included in the Indian senior men's camp, has revealed that he looks to stalwart players like Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sreejesh, SV Sunil among others for some inspiration.

Full Story >>

Sao Paulo [Brazil], Mar.29 (ANI): Star striker Neymar continued his fine run of form as Brazil virtually booked their place in next year's World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Paraguay in the qualifying clash at home here on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

Nadal fends off Mahut to reach Miami quarters

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 12:23 IST

Miami [Florida], Mar.29 (ANI): Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open after registering straight sets victory over veteran Nicolas Mahut in the men's singles event here on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru [India], Mar.29 (ANI): More than two years since his last call-up for the national camp, 23-year-old Amit Rohidas is on a comeback trail after a formidable performance in the backline for 2017 Coal India Hockey India League champions Kalinga Lancers.

Full Story >>

Yangon [Myanmar], Mar. 28 (ANI): India registered their first win of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying campaign with a 1-0 triumph against Myanmar in a hard fought contest, courtesy of a fluent counterattack in the 90thminute of the match through the flanks by Udanata Singh, which was finally bundled home by Sunil Chhetri.

Full Story >>

Miami [U.S.], Mar. 29 (ANI): Swiss maestro Roger Federer thrashed Roberto Bautista Agut at the Miami Open and advanced to the quarterfinals at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Mar. 28 (ANI): With less than six hours before kick-off, FIFA has banned Lionel Messi from Argentina's World Cup qualifier away at Bolivia.

Full Story >>