Birmingham : Manpreet Singh, captain of the Indian men’s hockey team at the Commonwealth Games here, on Monday blamed two untimely and easy cards his team received in the fourth quarter for squandering a big 4-1 lead and being held to a 4-4 draw in a Pool B encounter with hosts England.
Manpreet Singh’s India had a 3-0 lead at half-time and looked in cruise mode at 4-1 in the fourth quarter but went on to concede three goals for the draw. Mandeep /Singh had scored a brace for India while Lalit Kumar Yadav and Harmanpreet Singh contribute one each.
“We got two (yellow) cards, unfortunately, and because of that, we gave away the game. Otherwise, we had the upper hand. We shouldn’t get that kind of cards – that will be crucial for us in upcoming matches.”
Key defender Varun Kumar and midfielder Gurjant Singh got yellow cards in the final 10 minutes of the match and England used the advantage of numbers to score through Nicholas Bandurak and Phillip Roper during this period and denied India three points.
Manpreet however said the Indian team showed great spirit as it continued to fight despite having two players in the sin bin.”We were two men down and we still believed in each other, because we always talk about this: if someone makes a mistake, we’re a team, so we need to cover for each other.
That’s what we did today, and it was a pretty good result,” said Manpreet after the match.Manpreet said they will try to make the most of their chances in the remaining two matches in the Pool B and hope to top the table.
“”We would like to make the same start as we did today, because we cannot underestimate those teams. They are both really good. We will watch their matches and look at how we can get PCs (penalty corners) or score goals against them,” said Manpreet Singh.