Hockey WC: Harmanpreet Singh says replacing 'keeper was a huge confidence-booster

Dec 09, 2018, 09:00 IST | Ashwin Ferro

Thereafter, Harmanpreet essayed another crucial role. With five minutes to go on the clock, the Indian team management decided to replace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh with a rush goalie or fly 'keeper, and that job was given to Harmanpreet

Hockey WC: Harmanpreet Singh says replacing 'keeper was a huge confidence-booster
India's Harmanpreet Singh, wearing a yellow jersey as he played fly goalie, congratulates the Canada players after yesterday's match. Pic/Hockey India

It was a fine outing for India's penalty corner mainstay Harmanpreet Singh, as the hosts hammered Canada 5-1 to top Pool C and directly qualify for the quarter-finals. The team's chief drag flicker, who had not scored a single goal off his lethal flicks in the first two matches, opened his and Team India's account on Saturday with a neat low flick to the right of Canadian goalkeeper Antoni Kindler (12th minute), who was having a fine game till then.

In the build-up to this match, Harmanpreet had told mid-day that he was eager to score, but was not worried because he knew that his goals would come as and when he varied his flicks. And right enough, his switch from high flicks to a low shot on Saturday beat the custodian all ends up.

Thereafter, Harmanpreet essayed another crucial role. With five minutes to go on the clock, the Indian team management decided to replace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh with a rush goalie or fly 'keeper, and that job was given to Harmanpreet. He enjoyed every bit of it.

"It's great to score off a flick. I've been practising hard and was confident I would score. It's great to help the team in a crucial match," Harmanpreet told mid-day later. The rush goalie role was a huge confidence-booster too, he said. "In the knockout stage, there could be a situation where we are a goal down or the match is tied and we may need an extra outfielder to add pressure on the opposition. For that, we decided to use this match as a practice event. It's good that the exercise came off well," he added.

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