Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

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PKBasu
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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by PKBasu » Wed May 03, 2017 1:50 am

No material change in Indian performances, apart from a good win over NZ. The Asia Cup triumph last year doesn't seem to have resulted in any step change in the team's performances: Azlan Shah, after all, is a tournament where India have traditionally done rather well, so a clear win over Britain would have been required to demonstrate that the team is on an improving trajectory.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Wed May 03, 2017 6:55 am

PKB, the GB performance and result was slightly disappointing. We had lots of possession but didn't create too many chances and got only 1 PC and we squandered the lead twice, but at lest we didn't lose. The NZ and Australia performances were good. We had a bad 3rd quarter v Australia. 3-1 wasn't bad especially as the idiot umpire missed 2 Australian fouls in the build up to their 3rd goal! The same umpire missed a couple of PCs for us. Sunil's yellow card was very harsh as was his first green one.

Yes, it's yet another loss to Australia, but the way our team competed was a vast improvement from our usual thrashings. We managed to by pass the high Aussie press almost every time, held possession way better than usual and ran hard for the entire 60 mins. We don't have the usual 4-5 weak players who repeatedly lose the ball, although we still have Mandeep. He may have scored 2 goals so far, but his trapping and general play is not good enough. Akahdeep looks better now (although Oltmans mentioned his mis traps in the press conference afterwards) and Talwinder did reasonably well. Sunil has been poor (by his standards) and Affan hasn't really shown too much either.

Let's hope we meet Australia again in the final ;)

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by PKBasu » Wed May 03, 2017 8:11 am

Thanks for those details, ssp. Good to know about the marginal improvements and generally better-organized team. Oeltmans seems to have at least provided some stability over a reasonable period of time, and it is beginning to bear modest fruit. It would be great if we made the final, and then sprang another surprise on Australia.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Wed May 03, 2017 9:39 am

Maybe I spoke too soon, as we are 3-3 with Japan and only 6 mins left. That usually means at least one goal is due to be conceded by us ;)
Whilst I type, Mandeep puts us 4-3 ahead with just 2-3 mins left. Can we hold on?
Yes, we hold on. Tough game but pleased to see us winning. Now we need a big Aussie win over GB. Goal difference may decide the second finalist, but luckily, we will know what is required when we start our last pool game v Malaysia

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by jaydeep » Wed May 03, 2017 9:44 am

Surprised by our struggle against Japanese team ... Are they improved a lot?

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Wed May 03, 2017 10:16 am

Postby jaydeep » Wed May 03, 2017 9:44 am

Surprised by our struggle against Japanese team ... Are they improved a lot?
Yes, they had a clear out after the ACT of last year. We hammered them 10-2 in that tournament. They have performed pretty well here so far, giving every team a tough time. We were below our best. Conceding 3 goals is not great.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Wed May 03, 2017 12:12 pm

Australia won by only 2-1. We are level with GB on points and goal difference, but ahead because of having scored 1 goal more. So the situation is in our hands on Friday. We have to match GB's result against NZ, and we play after that match, so will know exactly what is required. Ideally we need a Kiwi win ;)

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Wed May 03, 2017 6:54 pm

Apart from the 3-0 win over NZ, our results have been average. However, I'm not too despondent because we are playing some nice hockey and the statistics seem to back this up. Usually, Australia dominates the possession and circle entry stats against us, but we actually were better in both of these yesterday! We were 3/5 down on PCs (umpires had a big say in this) and 7/12 down on shots at goal (lack of composure in both Ds?).

We totally dominated all the stats against NZ and Japan and were equal with GB. So, we are getting into the opposition D quite often but don't get enough PCs or shots at goal. By keeping the ball so well, we are conceding far fewer circle penetrations or PC, but all the teams have been far more clinical in converting their chances-possibly because we are still a bit slack in marking?

All this is a big improvement in the decades long habit of gifting the ball away after 3 passes or dribbling stupidly and being totally clueless on how to press the opposition or defend in numbers.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by arjun2761 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:26 pm

A low scoring draw between GB and NZ would be our best result as we could then get through with a tie. Of course, a win against Malaysia would be our easiest path forward.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Fri May 05, 2017 9:40 am

GB have beaten NZ 3-2 so have a 12/9 goal difference. We are currently 10/8, so we need any win where we score 3 goals or more. Only other way to make the final would be a 2-0 win.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by suresh » Fri May 05, 2017 11:45 am

Japan upsets Australia 3-2. Australia is now tied with GB with 10 points but is way ahead on goal difference and goals scored (14/7). So India needs to overtake GB to make the final.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Fri May 05, 2017 12:17 pm

Amazing win by Japan. Really didn't expect that. Encouraging to see an Asian team overcome the mighty Aussies. Japan is easily the most improved team this year. They won the HWL tournament recently and have been competitive in all their matches so far. Well done to them.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Fri May 05, 2017 12:59 pm

0-0 at the end of Q1 India have been awful- unforced errors all over the pitch. No meaningful attacks at all and Malaysia have had 5 circle penetrations to none from us. Lucky to be level. Surely, we can't play as badly as this in the remainder of this match?

0-0 at half time. Better 2nd quarter, with 2 really good chances wasted in open play and 3 PCs by Rupinder Pal. Sloppy play continues with Sardar making lots of errors initially, but has got his act together. Mandeep continues to frustrate by losing the ball every time. He can't even make simple passes. I know he has scored several goals here, but his outfield play is way too weak. Unfortunately, Affan has been average too, which means he maybe banished from the squad.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by suresh » Fri May 05, 2017 1:25 pm

A couple of super saves by the Malaysian goalie as well. The scary part is that Malaysia has lost two matches 1-0 -- that scoreline won't do for us.

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Re: Sultan Azlan Shah tournament

Post by ssp » Fri May 05, 2017 2:01 pm

We have been awful today and are deservedly losing 1-0 with 9 mins to go. So many of our experienced guys have let the team down. All the forwards have been utterly c**p. Special mention for Akashdeep and Mandeep for messing up every single thing. I expect a 2-0 loss.
Actually, Rupinder Pal has been atrocious too. Only Sumit has done well.
Typical of the display, a miss right at the end. Didn't deserve to make the final. One of our poorest displays in the last year. Finished 1-0, so we play NZ for 3rd place. On this showing, we will lose that too.
We had 3-4 players on decent form. The rest were pathetic. I mean, they couldn't even pass on the floor. So many times moves broke down because of a hurried, lifted pass or a miss trap from any of the forwards.
Yet, I expect Akashdeep, Mandeep, Talwinder etc to be retained for the HWL semi finals

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