Indian hockey's high performance director Roelant Oltmans says the team's series win over Australia is a positive sign but repeating the feat against the World Champions in the upcoming Champions Trophy will determine the squad's progress.
India might have finished a disappointing ninth in the recent Hockey World Cup, but High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans today sought to present the performance of the national team in a positive light, saying the country showed "100 per cent improvement" and better results will follow "very soon".
Australia clinched their third hockey World Cup by successfully defending the title they had won four years ago in New Delhi when they thrashed hosts Netherlands 6-1 in the final at the Kyocera Stadium here Sunday.
With both their men`s and women`s teams marching into the semifinals, Australia, Argentina and the Netherlands would be eyeing the golden double when the last-four stage of the FIH Hockey World Cup is played out over the next two days here.
India will be seeking to overcome Asian champions South Korea in the play-off for the ninth position in the ongoing men`s hockey World Cup here, after they failed to improve upon their eighth-place finish in the last (2010) edition at New Delhi.
Buoyed by their triumph over Malaysia, India would face their toughest challenge so far when they take on unbeaten reigning champions Australia in their final preliminary game of the hockey World Cup here tomorrow.
Penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat`s three-goal burst kept Argentina on course for making the semifinals of the men`s hockey World Cup with a resounding 5-0 victory over Asian champions South Korea at the Kyocera Stadium here on Sunday.
Defending champions Australia became the first team to ensure passage into the semifinals of the hockey World Cup with a 5-0 hammering of England here Saturday, giving them a maximum 12 points from four matches in Group A.
As if the humiliation of not being able to qualify for the ongoing World Cup in Rotterdam was not enough for Pakistani hockey fans now even the national veterans team has been forced to pull out of the Masters World Cup tournament on the sidelines of the main event.
Former India skipper Dhanraj Pillay on Friday said he was disappointed with India`s performance in the ongoing hockey World Cup at The Hague and called for sacking of foreign experts including coach Terry Walsh.