CWG 2022: ‘We lost momentum after the clock howler’ – India women’s hockey coach

“Frustrated and angered” by the ‘clock howler’ during the Indian women’s hockey team’s controversial Commonwealth Games semi-final loss to Australia, coach Janneke Schopmann said her team was deflated and lost momentum after the incident.

The Hockeyroos set up a gold medal challenge against England after a controversial 3-0 win over India on penalties here on Friday.

During the shootout, Australia’s Rosie Malone missed her shot but to the dismay of the Indian team and fans, the forward was given a second chance after the technical official, England’s B Morgan, failed to start the clock in time.

Each player gets eight seconds to put the ball into the net in a shootout.

Given a second chance, Malone scored and that set the tone for the shootout, as the Indians failed their first three attempts, but Australia converted all their chances.

“After that, we kind of lost our momentum a little bit. Then it went in, and everybody gets pumped up,” said Shopman, a double Olympic medalist.

“I’m not using it as an excuse, but when you make a save, it’s a huge boost for the team and you turn the decision around and the girls are really upset about it,” he said.

Describing the incident, he said: “The umpire’s hand was up, but I didn’t really know and the umpires — A Church and England’s H Harrison — didn’t know either. So, I was frustrated by the umpires. They said we have to call it back.”

“I tried to calm him down. In hindsight it was 50-50 but after that moment I’m sure his focus was a bit off,” said a frustrated Schopmann.

The match went to penalties as both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

“It’s all human and all emotions. Should we be better? That’s what I was trying to say, ‘It’s okay girls, it’s okay’. But it matters and of course I’m angry because I don’t think the authorities understand what happened.

“He said it wasn’t our decision. I said ‘Australia aren’t complaining, they know they lost it, it was easily 10 seconds and they had a chance to score’.”

“I think those people don’t understand the game and the emotions involved.”

However, India captain Savita Punia played down the incident and said: “Maybe it was our luck in the shootout. We saved the first goal in the timeout but we were told that only the timer didn’t start.

“It definitely played a role in the psychology of the players. But we learned from our coach that it’s all part of the game. We tried to bounce back.”

“Obviously, I’m sad about it. But I’m proud of the girls for going down 0-1 against a team like Australia. We decided at half-time to go for that one goal and the team. Executed it perfectly.”

Savita said their initial reaction was shock and disbelief.

“Of course, we are human, yes, in the next moment we realize that we can’t change it, we can’t forgive and we can’t fight for it. It happens sometimes.

“It was tough and we had to move on. But when we came to know about this, we thought, how can this happen? This has never happened in my career. This is a first for me,” he said.

India will play New Zealand in the bronze medal play-off on Sunday.

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