India coach Sjoerd Marijne deserves an award for the sheer number of times he manages to exude positivity despite admitting the multitude of errors his team commits on field. On Monday, after yet another abysmal loss against Germany, the coach reiterated his belief in the players.
“We lost the ball too many times. Germany played extremely disciplined with a lot of ball possession. We had almost more circle penetrations and more PCs but what matters is scoring the goals. I was happy with the second half, when we played really nice and created opportunities. But we have to execute them,” Marijne said.
Yet again, it was not just the loss but the manner of it that should concern the Dutchman. There was lack of communication and random passing that seemed more at home at a domestic competition than an elite international event.
“I always like to give players freedom to play. In the first half we made a lot of technical errors. We will do better in the next match.
Asked about the likely opponent Belgium in the quarterfinals, Marijne refused to take the bait. “If you want to win tournament, you have to beat every team. We respect Belgium but in this tournament, everybody can beat everyone. What I saw against Australia and second half against England and Germany, we can do it. We have the qualities, only it is about showing it every time and in every match. Being consistent is our focus and main target. So I don't see why we can’t beat Belgium,” he insisted.
Captain Manpreet admitted that the team ended up committing too many unforced errors in an attempt to score after trailing by two goals.
“We were disappointed, we were trying to attack to cut their lead. But there were a lot of unforced errors and missing,” he said.
Germany, on its part, was happy about sticking to its plan. “It’s always about analysing. We created and used the space and with good passing skills, we find good solutions. We had a clear plan and we stuck to that. Indian couldn’t defend as hard as we expected,” coach Stefan Kermas said. “Only speed doesn’t help you. You have to find quick passes and the patience to pass. It’s always about the third and fourth pass than the first two,” he added.
The exact areas India would do well to concentrate on in the coming games.
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