“Pakistan’s decline has to stop somewhere,” the coach said ahead of the Asian Cup hockey game between India and Pakistan.
After bringing Japan a gold medal for the first time at the Asian Games, coach Siegfried Eckmann was eagerly waiting for the Olympic hosts to come back after two goals down to lead strong Australia 3-2 at half-time. of the opening match of the season of the 2020 Olympic Games. in Tokyo.
Kenta Tanaka scored two minutes before a long break from open play to raise hopes for a miracle that would not have happened.
Kookaburra came on alone in the second half to score three goals that determined the hosts’ fate. However, despite a narrow 1-2 loss to Rio Olympic champions Argentina and a credible 2-2 draw with New Zealand, Japan were left with just one point to show their efforts at the end. of the group stage.
The Samurai Japan campaign in Tokyo ended difficultly, and the scoreline probably does not reflect the performance of the Asian Games champions under FIH head coach Siegfried Aikman.
During the interaction leading up to the Men’s Asian Cup, which began with the India-Pakistan match, Aikman lamented the absence of an Olympic medal in the list of achievements to his name, saying: the bridge He was eager to guide Pakistan – the former magicians of world hockey – on their way to an Olympic medal.
“Looking back on my time in Japan, I think I accomplished almost everything – but not the most important thing. I didn’t win a medal at the Olympics. We came out in the group stage. We’re not accustomed to opponents we are determined to do everything to win and we cannot imitate him in our training matches because due to COVID we could only train against each other We did not have a Pro League There, I realized the importance of international exposure at the highest level.
“I really wanted to win a medal. With Pakistan I have a second chance to do the same and I will do everything I can to make it happen.
“India is doing well, but Pakistan is constantly falling and it has to stop somewhere.”
Aikman also cited emotional reasons for choosing to work in the Indian subcontinent, but reinvigorating the game in Pakistan remains his primary focus.
“My grandparents are from the Indian subcontinent. They came from undivided India. There were emotional reasons for coming to Pakistan.
“The second reason is that I think Pakistan should be competitive. World hockey needs India and Pakistan to lead hockey. India is doing well, but Pakistan is constantly lagging behind and we have to stop somewhere. I hope I can stop it and revive it and make Pakistan promising again.
Reviving hockey in Pakistan is far from an easy task, as Ekman believes the results of the 2018 World Cup and Olympics qualifiers do not reflect how far the level of hockey has fallen in the once-crazy country. hockey.
In the Olympic qualifiers against the Netherlands in 2018, Pakistan almost upset the Dutch national team in the first leg. Mink van der Weyden’s PC goal helped the Dutch to a 4-4 draw, but Max Caldas’ side came back strong in the second leg, beating the three-time Olympic champions 6-1.
However, Aikman is far from impressed with Pakistan’s occasional tournaments against top teams.
“For me, it’s about getting your results. Yes, our way of playing is attractive. We attack, score goals on the pitch and work hard. We make it difficult for the opponent, but in the end we lose. get no results. This is the part that takes time and this is where it comes in handy. “The Role of Consistency.”
“For me, you are a good team if you can do it consistently like Belgium do. Yes, Pakistan can surprise. But we can never do it consistently.
The Dutchman believes India are also suffering from their insatiability after a disappointing third place finish in the AFC Champions Cup.
“Even India are not there for me yet. They won the bronze medal in the Olympics, but now they have to be consistent. They failed in the Asian Champions Cup, the first tournament after the Olympic Games.
The Indians have chosen to field a young and inexperienced team in the 11th edition of the Asian Cup as the protagonists prepare for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League games in Europe.
The last time Pakistan beat India at the AFC Games was in 2016 and then lost 12 times to their traditional rivals. Even Mubasher Ali’s last-minute PC killer scored a four-time World Cup winner with a draw in 2018.
Thanks to the recent juggernaut of wins, the Indians are closing in on Pakistan in terms of the head-to-head stats which are now 82-64 in favor of the green jerseys.
It is likely that Pakistan will have more of a chance to beat India as the top two teams from each group will play a quadruple role in the second round of the AFC Asian Cup.
The two continental giants are in Group 1 and will need to finish ahead of Japan and hosts Indonesia to reach the Super 4 stage.
De Indians kwalificeren zich automatisch voor het WK 2023 als gastheer, maar Siegfried Eckmann moet ervoor zorgen dat het meest succesvolle team in de geschiedenis van de Wereldbeker in Jakarta bovenaan het podium staat om zich te kwalificeren voor het toernooi dat ze in het het verleden 4 keerleden 4 keerleden won .
My goal is to qualify for the World Cup and I will do everything I can to achieve it.
It remains to be seen if the Dutchman’s dream comes true, but hockey fans are ready to enjoy the 178 World Hockey Championship as two superpowersYes Story time is May 23.
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