We defended well during the final phase, says coach Marijne

We defended well during the final phase, says coach Marijne

 We defended well during the final phase, says coach Marijne India edged past Malaysia 2-1 to claim their first continental championship triumph in a decade.

Conceding last minute goals has been the bane of Indian hockey but recently-appointed coach Sjoerd Marijne says the team improvised its defensive tactics quite well in its triumph over Malaysia in the Asia Cup final here.

India edged past Malaysia 2-1 to claim their first continental championship triumph in a decade.

“I was a bit worried when the score was 2-1 and strange goals can happen in last four or five minutes. I am really happy how they (the India players) played, they changed the way we defend in the end and that helped us clinch the final,” Marijne said after guiding the team to title triumph in his maiden assignment.

On winning the title, India captain Manpreet Singh said: “It is a great honour to captain this team. Hockey is a team game and we are a family and this victory was possible because of the team work we put in. We are enjoying this victory.”

Despite the disappointment of defeat in the final, the silver medal represents Malaysia’s finest achievement on the Asia Cup stage.

“India are tough opponents and ranked much higher than us,” said Malaysia head coach Stephen van Huizen, reflecting on an extremely positive week for his team.

“This was our first ever Asia Cup final and I am really happy with the way the boys performed. It was a close contest and I am happy how they played.”

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