Team India made an impressive comeback after trailing 0-1 against Scotland and went on to win 4-1 after a flurry of goals by Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh. India got a perfect start to their Hockey World League semifinal campaign on Thursday. In their second match, they thrashed Canada 3-0 on Saturday and now face Pakistan in their third match of the tournament on Sunday.
India captain Manpreet Singh expressed his thoughts after the Scotland match, “We knew we didn’t start well. But coach gave us that confidence during the break saying there’s still 30 minutes to go and nothing is lost yet. He asked us to bring more energy and aggression into our game. He reminded us about the strategic planning we had made ahead of the match against Scotland and asked us to execute it and not think of the misses we had in the first two-quarters.”
India has performed well against their arch-rivals Pakistan last year, thrashing them 3-2 in league and final match of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy. India also clinched the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Pakistan as they hammered them 5-1.
Manpreet feels that this will be just another game for India and they will look to earn crucial three points from Sunday’s encounter. “We always look at Pakistan as just another team and we always look at earning those three points from the match to advance in the league stage. They are a good side, but we have had a good start to the tournament. The idea will be to stick to the plans coach draws up before the match against both (Canada and Pakistan) teams, bring in more aggression into our game and aim at finishing on top of the table in the league stage.”
Manpreet said that team is playing without any pressure as they have already booked a spot for the Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. “We play with no pressure. We just want to perform to our potential and enjoy ourselves while we give it our best,” he concluded.