Hiroshima (Japan), 17 June 2019: The Indian Women's Hockey Team started their campaign at the FIH Women's Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 with two impressive victories against Uruguay and Poland in their opening two matches of the tournament, and will now be playing Fiji in their last Pool A encounter on Tuesday. The Indian team, currently Ranked No. 9 in the FIH World Rankings, are also the top-ranked team taking part in the tournament, and will look to secure their berth directly into the Semi-Finals of the competition with a victory against World No. 44 Fiji here on Tuesday at the Hiroshima Hockey Stadium.
Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne is satisfied with his team's performances in the first two matches against Uruguay and Poland respectively, but believes that there is still room for improvement. "There is no doubt that the team has played well in the first couple of matches, but we want to be performing at the highest level possible, and I believe that there is still room for improvement. Our conversion rate can definitely be higher and if that happens, it will be easier for us to win the matches," said Marijne.
"What has impressed me in the first two matches has been the fact that we have created good field opportunities, and have also been able to earn more Penalty Corners. The team is enjoying themselves on the pitch, and that is good to see as a Coach that your players are enjoying each other's company," he added.
He continued, "We do realize we are a much higher ranked team than the teams that we have played so far, so by winning the matches, we did what we had to do. Everything we do is about qualifying for the Semi-Final, and that is where our collective focus is. We see our performances in the last two matches from the right perspective that all the good things happened, and the team is very well aware of this."
The 45-year-old Dutchman also feels that his team is now combining well. "The most important aspect for me, is to see how the players enjoy playing together, and how they combine on and off the field. When you keep trying to combine on the field, it results in everybody getting an opportunity to play and perform as well," he said. India have so far accumulated six points from their two matches in the competition, with a 4-1 win against Uruguay in the opening match and a 5-0 win against Poland in their second match. But Chief Coach believes that the team is focused on winning all the matches. He said, "Even though we have won the first two matches and are in a good position in the Pool, our players are very focused on winning each match. We treat all the matches the same, and the match against Fiji is as important as any other match as it helps us in qualifying for the Semi-Final."
On Tuesday, India take on Fiji in their last Pool A match at 10.30 hours IST. All matches from the competition will be streamed on fih.live; while the India v Fiji match can be viewed at https://fih.live/view/event/48379
Published 18 Jun 2019, 02:25 IST