Harmanpreet: India is focussed on retaining Asian title

India's ace dragflicker Harmanpreet has praised the support of Indian support at the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman.

Harmanpreet has scored thrice in the 4-1 rout of South Korea in the final Round Robin match.   -  PTI

India’s penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh said his team is focused on retaining the Hero Asian Champions Trophy after it thrashed South Korea 4-1 in the last league outing here.

“The Indian team goes out looking for early goals every time. The team is maintaining its structure and focused on retaining the title,” said Harmanpreet, who scored three goals against South Korea last night at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here.

India stayed on top of the league standings with 13 points from five outings. Their semi-final opponent will be determined after the last round of league matches tonight, although Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan have earned enough points to push South Korea and Oman out of the frame.

Read: Asian Champions Trophy: India beats Korea 4-1, storms into semis

“The support from Indian fans here in Muscat has been wonderful. The fan support is always a big boost for us,” said Harmanpreet.

Harmanpreet made a dramatic entry into international hockey when he made his debut in the 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh (Malaysia) and went on to represent India in the Champions Trophy in London and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro within a couple of months.

The spotlight has not left him since then.

Coach Harendra Singh says Harmanpreet had developed into an excellent drag-flicker.

“Harmanpreet is one of the best penalty corner shooters in the game today,” he says.

“The strikers should always keep in mind that there’s an option of forcing a penalty corner when they are not finding space for a shy at the goal.

“When you are not finding space to shoot at the goal, try to earn penalty corners. The penalty corners provide a cushion and a chance for direct shot at the goal.”

Harendra further added that his team has the “ability to score both with direct penalty corner flicks and on the rebounds.”

India next plays the semi-final on October 27.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :