SINGAPORE - They drew up a plan, buckled down, gave it a go, but stumbled.
Singapore men's hockey team were beaten twice by Oman in what was supposed to be their final attempt to convince the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) selectors to give them the green light for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19 to Oct 4.
But, even in defeat, they received an opportunity to fight another day.
Solomon Casoojee's charges travelled to Muscat for two games on May 17 and 18, and were beaten twice by a side ranked sixth in Asia, going down 2-1 in both matches.
The Omani hockey team will do battle at the Asian Games, and have invited the Republic to return to Muscat in July (10 to 20) as sparring partners for their own preparations for the tournament.
In doing so, they present Casoojee and his team another chance to convince the SNOC to give them a ticket for the Asia.
"I thought we dominated periods of both of the games, and in the first match, held the lead for most of the game. But the fact of the matter is that we lost both games, and will have to wait and see what the SNOC decides," Casoojee told The New Paper yesterday.
"But the Oman side clearly thought the games were close affairs and that we'd give them good matches, and have invited us to go back there as they prepare for the Asian Games.
"We'll play between four and six matches against them and we will use every opportunity to use every result we can as justification for us going to the Games."