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Hong Kong International Hockey Can Improve (30/07/2011)

By Eddie dos Passos/HKHA

Oman vs Hong Kong, China
Half-time: 2-0
Full-time: 4-0

Hong Kong were left to rue what may have been when they crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Oman to finish the 3rd Men’s Junior AHF Cup in seventh place.

Overall, it has been a disastrous outing for the host, as they have posted defeats throughout the tournament, with their worst, a 7-1 humiliating loss to Chinese Taipei in the preliminary rounds.
“One thing this defeat (to Oman) has shown me as  a coach, is that we must have a long term strategic working map with a minimum four-year plan if Hong Kong hockey is to go anywhere,” said Guv Dillon, the Hong Kong coach.
“We may have lost four goals to Iran but it was certainly an eye-opener, from the intensity to the performance level instead of the wishy-washy attitude from all quarters,” he said.

Oman coach Koothanda Poonacha said this tournament was good for the development of the sport back home.

“Hopefully, this result will help us build on our development. We have the resources but lack the support of a strong league,” said Poonacha, who also coaches the senior national side.

He said that he made changes to the team entering the classification match in order to give as many players as possible the opportunity to play and experience first hand.

“Day by day we have been improving and it can only be good for me as a coach and for the selection of players for the national team,” said Poonacha.

He said they had the skills but lack the cohesion and teamwork needed to play at international level,

“Money is not a problem in Oman, it is just recruiting the right players and the development of the game that is hard,” said Poonacha.

However, he said the tournament itself was good exposure for his team who were very young and were playing in their first true international.

Hongkong’s defeat to Oman began in quick-fire action as Oman nabbed a 17th minute goal through Muhanna Al Hasani before Shihab Bait Saad extended their lead two minutes later for Oman to enter the break on a 2-0 lead.

It took another 18 minutes of hard running against Hong Kong’s defense before Oman again scored, this time from a penalty corner conversion, first from Anwar Jumaan (37th), followed up by a Mahmood Bait Shamaiaa 43rd goal.