India allowed Canada to catch up and finished its last league match with a 2-2 draw at the Olympic hockey centre on Friday.
After a barren first half when Nikkin Thimmaiah and Manpreet Singh failed to convert the good moves into the goal, India led twice thanks to a sharp reverse flick by Akashdeep Singh and a timely deflection off a long ball from the centre by Ramandeep Singh. It, however, lacked the ideas overall to press home the advantage.
Canada forced only two penalty corners in the whole match but converted them both through its skipper Scott Tupper, who sneaked the first under the goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, and gave the latter no chance with the second.
Coach Roelant Oltmans was heard on international television firing his players for not being intelligent in their approach. His anger and anguish was understandable as the team had slipped considerably, after having matched teams like Germany and the Netherlands.
It had to be conceded, though, that the team lacked the sting up front after S.V. Sunil had to be rested owing to an injury he sustained while running into the fence behind the goal.
With seven points from the league with victories over Argentina and Ireland, India is likely to run into either Spain or Belgium.