“We must win in regulation time and not in shootouts," says Women's Hockey coach Schopman
New Delhi, March 15, 2022
Happy with India’s dramatic win over Germany in the second leg of the FIH Pro League, women's hockey coach Janneke Schopman said that the team's focus is to improve and do better in every game.
India and Germany shared the honours in their two-legged tie in Bhubaneswar. While the visitors won the first match 2-1 in the shootout, the home side bounced back with a dramatic 3-0 shootout win in the second leg as both the games ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
"Our focus is to improve and do better in every game, which I think we are doing. In Saturday's game, we didn't start well, but in the next game, we started well. The only thing to say is that we should win in regulation time and not in shootouts," said Schopman after India's win.
Talking to Hockey India in Bhubaneswar, the coach said, "In the second game, we got a little bit on the backfoot after losing the video referral and then the penalty corner that went in because a player got sent out. I just reminded the players at half-time that we are actually in the game and you just have to keep working hard and keep to our game plan and win the balls. I think we created enough opportunities."
India were successful in converting their first three attempts in a shootout in the second leg. Salima Tete, Sangita Kumari, and Sonika were the goalscorers for India, while goalkeeper Savita foiled all of Germany's three attempts.
Two players -- Akshata Abaso Dhekale on Saturday and Bichu Devi Kharibam -- on Sunday made their debuts in the double-header against Germany.
"We have a lot of young players. Akshata has really shown a lot of progress in the training sessions. She is a smart player, she defends well, she is calm. If she keeps growing, she has a great future. Bichu Devi, the goalkeeper also made her debut today, she is a very good goalkeeper,"the coach said.
“Deepika and Sangita too have played a little bit and they are starting to have more confidence. They got more on the ball using more of their skills. That's what I want, I want them just to play and not be worried about any mistake they make. I am really happy with the performances, but there's a lot to learn for them."
Asked about the shootouts and what all improvements the team made in the second leg, captain and goalkeeper Savita said, "Shootout is a situation of pressure. After so many years, it was our first shootout on Saturday, so our players and I made a few mistakes. But, we worked on those errors and thought that we just have to implement what we do in the training if the match heads to the shootouts. “
“So, we worked on our mistakes from the Saturday game and implemented the learnings in Sunday's game. We have very skilful players in our team and they all were able to score easily,” she added.
With 12 points from six games, India is currently at the second spot in the FIH Pro League standings.
India will next play a double-header against England in the league at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on April 2 and 3.