“Winning penalties is very important and we can be better at converting on PC. We hope to do better in that aspect, “said the player in the draw, who was not at his best in the match against Spain.
PICTURE: Hometown hero Amit Rohidas and midfielder Hardik Singh scored in India’s dominant 2-0 win over Spain on Friday. Photo: Hockey India/Twitter
England head coach Graham Reid said England would be stronger than Spain and India could not let their guard down in Sunday’s Group B match.
Hometown hero Amit Rohidas and midfielder Hardik Singh scored in India’s 2-0 win over Spain on Friday. A win over England, ranked fifth in the world, on Sunday will help India qualify for the quarter-finals, where they can imagine their chances of beating Wales in their final Group D match.
India ranks sixth in the world, while Wales ranks 15th.
“We will face England next and it will be more difficult. They ranked higher than us. We know how tough the England team is at the Commonwealth Games,” Reid said.
Last year, the two teams met three times in their final Commonwealth Games match in Birmingham, finishing 4-4 in the group stage. They played out a 3-3 draw in the first leg of the Pro League match before India won 4-3 in the second match, both games played in April.
“Therefore, we will try to continue our good work (since the Spain game). We played well defensively (against Spain), and we have to continue that,” Reid added.
Captain Harmanpreet Singh agreed that England would be tough opponents and the hosts would have to play their best hockey to beat them.
“We are playing match after match. Spain is over now and our focus is on England and we are planning for that,” she said.
“Winning penalties is very important and we can be better at converting via PC. We hope to do better in that aspect”, said the flash of the team who was not at his best in the match against Spain.
He was unable to find the goal in the five penalties India took and also missed a penalty.
“Again, we need a team effort. We have to make up for those who are not doing as well on any given day.”
Rohidas, who started learning hockey at Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela, said executing the team’s plans will be key to winning games.
“I started at the Banbosch Sports Hostel here and playing at home is a great feeling. The support of this great crowd motivated us, but once we got on the pitch we tried to focus on the game,” he said.
“It’s a team effort and thanks to the team I was able to score in front of the home crowd, which included members of my family. We are not under pressure and the key to our success will be to implement the team’s plans.”
Rohidas was in the perfect position to volley the ball past the hapless Spain keeper after Harmanpreet bounced off a defender’s stick. Hardik then went on a solo run to score India’s second goal.