Lille: India kicked off their pre-Olympic European tour with a thumping 8-2 win over France on Thursday, and though coach Michael Nobbs was upset with the performance of his boys in the first half, overall he was satisfied considering the team was still acclimatising to the conditions.
"Well, this was our first game and it was to acclimatise to [the] European conditions. We had two debutants, [Pradhan] Somanna and Nitin [Thimmiah]. Both had [a] very good second half but were, as to be expected, a little nervous in the first half," said the India coach after the match on Friday.
However, Nobbs wasn't particularly pleased with how the team showed up in the first half, in which the hosts fought well to restrict India's lead to just one goal. "The [final] score was 8-2 and a comfortable win, but the first half was 3-2 to India and was a very unacceptable performance from us. We gave them too much time to control the play and they had easy possession. We played as though we were there to have just a practice run and not as preparation for the Olympic Games."
The Indian men\'s hockey team beat France 8-2 in the first friendly of the two-match series leading up to the Olympics.
But India returned to their attacking best in the last 35 minutes of the game, pumping in five goals, much to Nobbs' relief. "The second half was a very different affair. We pressed well and forced them into numerous errors, on which we capitalised," he said. "We played a very tight system against them and I was satisfied with the overall performance. We held them scoreless and put five goals in the net. We played as we should have and dominated the second half."
Friday's game was played on the green turf, but the second game on Saturday will be see a blue pitch, similar to the one that will be used during the London Games.