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Updated: March 8, 2010 21:29 IST

It's a mental victory: Dani

Sports Reporter
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Spain's Pau Quemada who scored the first goal against England in World Cup Hockey Match against England in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
The Hindu Spain's Pau Quemada who scored the first goal against England in World Cup Hockey Match against England in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Spanish coach Martin Dani described his team's 2-0 win against England as a mental victory.

Dani said it took the monkey off his team's back after a much better performance handed the English side its first defeat in the World Cup here on Monday.

“There was pressure on us, we were fighting against ourselves. We are happy now,” the Spain coach said.

For Dani, it was more of a mental victory than tactical. “This has improved our mental condition. From the next game, we will play with a different feeling,” he said, adding the other day Spain had also played well to beat host India.

Poor show

England skipper Barry Middleton did not hesitate in admitting that his side performed poorly. “We showed if we do not play well and do not put our energy, we do not win. Spain is an Olympic silver medallist and they played better,” Middleton said.

Coach Jason Lee also praised Spain for its performance and said now the focus for England would be the semifinals.

Drawing positives

Despite the 1-2 loss to Australia, Pakistan coach Shahid Ali Khan drew positives from the team's last pool match.

“Everybody had thought that it would a one-sided game. But it was one of the best games we had played. We did not give Australia any space in the midfield, we did not give any loose balls. All credit to defence,” he said.

Shahid, who said Pakistan lost as it had missed some open chances, was happy that the side showed signs of improvement.

“Out team has the potential to upset any big side. But we lack consistency. It is heartening that we revived after losing a few games,” Shahid said.

Dwyer all praise

Australian skipper Jamie Dwyer also appreciated Pakistan's effort. “Their passing and trapping was lot better than us,” he said.

Coach Ric Charlesworth said his side never underestimated Pakistan, which had defeated a team like Spain. “They could have upset us. It could easily have been a draw,” he said.

Charlesworth said his side needed to improve its ability to finish moves nicely.

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