Following the goalless draw against Malaysia in the Asian Champions Trophy, a dejected Indian men's hockey team chief coach Harendra Singh on Wednesday acknowledged that his strikers wasted too many chances despite dominating most sessions of the match.
"I am not happy at the way our strikers continue to miss scoring opportunities," Harendra said after India were held to a goalless draw by Malaysia in their preliminary league encounter here late on Tuesday.
The goalless draw on Tuesday night left both defending champions India and Asian Games silver medallists Malaysia on 10 points from four outings. India, however, stayed atop the standings on the basis of a superior goal difference.
"The strikers need to work harder. Things will not come on a platter every time," said Harendra, dejected that India failed to convert half a dozen scoring opportunities against Malaysia.
This was the first time India were playing Malaysia since the 2018 Asian Games, where Malaysia scored an upset win to advance to the final.
Harendra said modern hockey requires quick decision making by players. He said the strikers need to be quick in their decision making as rivals would always try to deny them time and space in the scoring zone.
"We have to do better inside the circle," he pointed out.
Harendra said Malaysia were expected to crowd their defence and deny space for the Indian strikers, but it was up to the Indian players to create a passage through the packed defence.
Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans, who was India's coach until last year, said the game proceeded as expected.
"We did really well in how we defended, but I am slightly disappointed with what we did when in possession of the ball," said Oltmans.
"We could have done a lot more. We could have created opportunities for ourselves. That is something we need to improve," said Oltmans, who took charge of the Malaysian team after the Asian Games that ended last month.
For three Asian teams -- India, Pakistan and Malaysia -- this event provides the last competitive games ahead of next month's World Cup in India.