Manpreet Singh spells out the approach for India’s crucial last Pool ‘D’ match on Thursday
India midfielder Manpreet Singh during a training session in Bhubaneswar yesterday. Pic/PTI
India were found wanting in penalty corner conversions in their first two matches of the hockey World Cup and midfielder Manpreet Singh is hoping that the hosts will hit the target against Wales here on Thursday.
India got nine penalty corners so far, but haven’t scored once from them directly. Against England, with whom they played out a goalless draw, India got four penalty corners.
“There were a few misses, but if you see, England also defended well and their goalkeeper did well. So, we need to analyse where we went wrong,” Manpreet told PTI after team’s training session on Tuesday.
“The playing structure of England and Wales are almost the same and we must execute our penalty corners against Wales,” said Manpreet, 30, adding that the Wales tie is important as a big win will put India on top of Pool ‘D’. “We will try to play our best and execute our plans,” said Manpreet, who had led India to a historic bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The toppers in each of the four pools directly qualify for the quarter-finals while the second and third place finishers of each pool will feature in crossover matches.
Korea win, Belgium held
Meanwhile, in the two World Cup matches on Tuesday, Korea beat Japan 2-1, while Germany held World Champions Belgium 2-2.
Young midfielder Hardik Singh’s MRI shows hamstring injury is not serious
India midfielder Hardik Singh’s medical report does not show any serious injury to his hamstring and, though he is doubtful for the game against Wales on Thursday, he should be available if the hosts qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup, his teammates said on Tuesday.
Hardik, who scored a brilliant goal against Spain in India’s opener on January 13, had suffered the injury against England on January 15. “Hardik should be fine. His MRI was done and it’s alright. It was a small injury, his muscle stress was not that bad. He should be fine for the quarters,” striker Abhishek told PTI.
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