Unbeaten Indian Men's Hockey Team take on Uzbekistan on Monday
Bhubaneswar, 08 June 2019: After two successive victories at the on-going FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019, home team India are geared up for their next challenge against Uzbekistan on Monday.
The highest ranked team and favourites to win the tournament, India began their campaign with a fine 10-0 victory against Russia on Thursday and followed this up with a 3-1 win against Poland on Friday which was closely contested with the Polish team coming up with tactical defensive structure to keep the Indian attack under check. "I think we did not start very well in both the matches. We could have done better in the first two quarters of both matches. We also missed quite a few chances against Poland which is a bit of a concern and we will be addressing them over the weekend," expressed Captain Manpreet Singh.
Meanwhile, Vice-Captain Birendra Lakra who is also a native of Odisha appealed to the people to come watch the matches and support the team in their attempt to make the qualification for Tokyo Olympics qualification event by finishing in the top in this tournament. "I would like to appeal to the people of Odisha who have always expressed their love for hockey by thronging the Kalinga Hockey Stadium to cheer for us. This time, the event is special not only because we are vying for Olympic Qualification but also because all the profits from ticket sales at the FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 will be contributed to CM Relief Fund in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani. It is our way of reciprocating the love shown by people of Odisha towards the Indian team over the years and we want to help the people of Odisha overcome the destruction caused by the Cyclone," stated Birendra Lakra who played a key role in India defence who have conceded only one goal in the tournament so far.