Marijne: ‘We have to learn our lessons’

Asked about the takeaways from the tournament for his young side, Sjoerd Marijne preferred to dwell on the positives.

Sjoerd Marijne is happy with the team's performance.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Modern hockey is considered one of the toughest and fastest sports internationally, so much so that teams are never scheduled to play more than two back-to-back matches in any tournament. When those two games happen to be medal matches and one team has just 13 – and later 11 – players available, it is almost a no-contest.

But there is a reason Germany is considered one of the toughest teams in the game. The World No. 5 stunned the world when it scored twice in the last minute to win its quarterfinal against New Zealand at the Rio Olympics. On Sunday, it put up a spirited performance that would rank among the greatest fight-backs on field.

“I think this game I spoke only about the emotional things. But it’s always good to keep the emotions down and find little things. This match was quite easy for me, because I just had to concentrate on the pitch since we had no substitutes. Today the whole power and spirit came off the team. It was not my idea, it was their idea. The idea to win for each other can be the most important and we showed what 11 players fighting together for a common goal can do,” German coach Stefan Kermas admitted after the game.

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“I am really happy with the performance because it was quite difficult to play two matches in 24 hours with seven players injured. We had the chances. It’s much more important to see the kind of spirit this team developed to push each other in such an important match. We did everything we can today. The score sheet for me is the right one. Look at the smile (on captain Grambusch),” he laughed.

Star striker Florian Fuchs found it funny that the team's goalkeeper scored. “It's unbelievable. It's actually funny that our goalkeeper scored. This was the first time he played as an outfield player and obviously, the first goal he has scored ever, but it is unbelievable,” he laughed.

That the Germans could afford to laugh was testament to the fact that there was no shame in the defeat. If anything, it were the Indians who were more circumspect after the game. “It was a great performance from Germany. They fought really hard. The way they played, it was not a system we are used to. The players were a little bit scared to lose the ball,” admitted coach Sjoerd Marijne.

Asked about the takeaways from the tournament for his young side, Marijne preferred to dwell on the positives. “We played at the highest level. Now I know what happens mentally, what we need to change. We will take our time for that. We have to learn our lessons. The easier thing is to see what we didn’t do good. But if you create chances, it means you did something good,” he said.

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