India determined to reach the semis of the Hockey World League

Abhishek Jain
India hockey coach Paul van Ass
Indian hockey coach Paul van Ass

Indian men’s hockey team head coach, Paul van Ass is determined to reach the semi-final stage of the Hockey World League semis. India will play Malaysia in the quarter-final of the tournament on 1st July.

The coach believes that the 10-on-10 strategy is working well for the team and the team is combining well to create enough opportunities for the forwards to score. He wants the team to continue with the level of performance that they had shown in the earlier matches and get an early goal to create pressure on the opponents.

As reported by The Hockey India, the Dutchman said, “Malaysia recently defeated India, so we have to perform better than them and reach the semi-final. Our players are in good shape and in form, they just have to continue their performance. We are looking forward to the match and determined to reach the semi-final.”

Indian captain Sardar Singh is not taking this Malaysian team lightly owing to their recent encounter at the 2015 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, where the Malaysians won 3-2. The skipper wants the team to be in good shape defensively against their familiar opponents.

“We are not taking Malaysia lightly”

The Haryana-based player urged his team to get that important early goal and dominate the match from the first pass.

“The quarter final will be tougher and all the teams will enhance their strategies to qualify for semi-finals. Our plans for the quarter-final are ready and now we have to implement the strategies on the field,” said Sardar Singh in a conference, as reported by The Hockey India.

“We are not taking Malaysia lightly as they have the ability to perform at the highest level. We will play as per our strategies of all attacks and try to score maximum goals in the first two quarters to put them in pressure.”

The Indian team should continue with retaining the ball as they have done in their previous games against France and Poland. The midfield triumvirate of Dharamvir Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and skipper Sardar Singh will be important for this match and build India’s attacks from the back.

These three would also be important in defence as they’ll be required to counter the threat possessed by Malaysia’s Razie Rahim, Mohammad Shamsul and Izwan Firdaus.

India and Malaysia have met 102 times in their history with India winning 70 of those encounters while Malaysia getting the better of their much-fancied opponents just 14 times.

The match will be telacast LIVE on Star Sports at 21:30 IST.

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