‘Irish phobia’ let India down

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Indian eves could not hold on their nerves in ‘shoot out’ and stumbled in quarterfinals for the third time in Women Hockey World cup. They lost grueling encounter 1-3 in ‘Shoot- out’ which they should have won in regular time against lowly ranked Ireland. This was third time that Indian women team entered last eight in world cup. They entered semi final in the inaugural tournament in 1974 and finished fourth. Then again 1978 they were in quarterfinals and ultimately got seventh place. This was the third occasion when they got this opportunity to improve their place but girls fumbled.

It seems Indian team and its support staff is suffering from ‘Irish phobia’ because it is their third consecutive defeat against this 16th rank opponent. India lost to Ireland 1-2 in their encounter in the Hockey World League at Johannesburg last year and then in the pool match Ireland won 1-0. India was expected to turn the tables on them by playing their natural game, attacking hockey but they were over defensive and never played full press game. It is evident from the single penalty corner which they could earn. Their 2-4-4 strategy is understandable against big teams like Netherlands or Argentina but teams like Ireland they should have gone offensive.

Asian Games are knocking at the door and India will have to rethink and plan the things accordingly.