Ipoh: India's 9-1 thrashing of Bangladesh notwithstanding, interim coach Roelant Oltmans is not fully satisfied with his wards' showing Wenesday, and said the match against the minnows was not the best performance by his side in the Asia Cup hockey tournament here.
Penalty corner exponents Rupinderpal Singh and V R Raghunath slammed a hat-trick each as India mauled Bangladesh 9-1 to register their third win on the trot in Pool B at the eight-nation tournament.
"This sort of game is always difficult to play because you already know that you are in the semifinals. To add to it the weather was also not really fantastic, the match was delayed. It is not always the best situation to be in as a player. I must say it was not our best game of the tournament but we are happy with the 9-1 win," Oltmans said at the post-match press conference.
"I think we can raise our level in the coming matches. I don't think the players also were completely happy with their performance. In certain parts of the game they were happy but in certain parts of the game we did not show consistency," he said.
For India, Rupinder (4th, 19th, 27th, 61st minutes) scored four goals in the match, out of which three came via penalty corner, while Raghunath (29th, 52nd, 59th) also converted short corners with ease to emerge as the joint top-scorer of the tournament with Jang Jong Hyun of South Korea on six goals apiece.
Nikkin Thimmaiah (25th) and Malak Singh (47th) were the other goal-getters for India. India today converted six out of the 10 penalty corners that came their way, and the Dutch coach was happy with the efforts of his drag-flcikers. "We converted 60 per cent of our penalty corners and that is a very high rate. I am happy with their (Rupinder and Raghunath) performance. It's a very good percentage," Oltmans said.
India face hosts Malaysia in the semifinals on Friday and the coach said there was no pressure on his boys ahead of the crucial tie. "We know we have one day's rest while they have two days rest. But these things don't matter to me. I only can prepare my team as good as possible. It is fantastic to play Malaysia.
I am looking forward to the game, it will be a tight game," Oltmans said. "There is no pressure, we enjoy playing hockey. Pressure most of the time comes from the outside. I told them (players) if you feel pressure, give it to me. I will take it, you just play hockey."