LONDON: India hockey coach Michael Nobbs has apologised for his team's embarrassing Olympic Games performance, claiming they have let down the entire nation.
Eight-time champions India have lost all four of their preliminary round matches in London and are in danger of finishing last in the 12-team tournament.
The national mood has not been improved by seeing Pakistan move to the brink of qualifying for the semi-finals.
India's 4-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday left them with a record of six goals scored against 15 conceded and sitting rock bottom of Group B.
"It's tough, because there is an expectation of your senior players. You don't get many chances like this in a lifetime," said Nobbs.
"You have to give it everything you possibly can, because it's not often you get to play for your country and at the Olympic games."
"There's no excuses. There's nothing more we can do as coaches, we're not out there on the field. The players have to perform, and they have been performing throughout the year.
"They've let themselves down, they've let us down, and they've let the Indian people down too, and I apologise for that because it's something we've got to fix. What's coming is a lot of hard work and a lot of pain."
Meanwhile, Pakistan, the three-time champions, find themselves on the verge of a semi-final place in Group A, although they face a tough task if they are to get through to Thursday's knockout round.
Pakistan, gold medallists in 1960, 1968 and 1984, stepped back into contention with a nail-biting 5-4 win over South Africa.
It took their points tally to seven from four matches - one behind World Cup winners Australia and Great Britain.
On Tuesday, Pakistan tackle Australia while Spain, the Beijing 2008 silver medallists who also have seven points, face the hosts.
Both Australia and Britain are unbeaten in the tournament.
"Australia are one of the best sides here. We cannot make any mistakes in that match," said Pakistan coach Akhtar Chaudhry.
"We have to play very carefully and if my forwards move like they did against South Africa, it will be a very good match."
Two goals in the last 10 minutes saved Pakistan's chances of making the semi-finals in Sunday's win over South Africa, the tournament's highest-scoring match so far.
Captain Sohail Abbas made it 4-4 in the 64th minute with a trademark penalty corner flick into the top corner before Waseem Ahmad claimed Pakistan's winner three minutes later.
"It's do-or-die game against Australia but our spirits are very high," said Pakistan star Rehan Butt.