FIH Pro League: India hoping to maintain winning run in South Africa

The Indian team will hope for a third win in three matches when it plays France on Saturday.

India will hope for a third win in three matches when it plays France on Saturday.

India beat France 5-0 earlier this week but captain Manpreet Singh said his team won’t take France lightly.

“It was good to start off the campaign with a win. Our first quarter was patchy but after the first quarter we played a rather composed game. We played to our structure and converted from the chances we created,” Manpreet said.

“It’s important we don’t take them lightly when we play against them on Saturday. We saw what France is capable of when they played against Netherlands. The match went into a shootout after 2-2 draw and eventually they lost in the shootout. Even when we played against them, they created good chances to score,” he said.

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On Sunday, India will play South Africa for the second time in the tour. Though India won by a big margin, Manpreet said there were several aspects the team could have done better, particularly in the second half.

Defensive lapses

“Definitely the highlight of this match was both new comers in the team Jugraj and Abhishek scoring goals and also creating opportunities. But when we watched the videos from this match, we definitely felt that as a team, we could have done better in the second half. There were lapses in the defence, which allowed South Africa to come back into the game and we didn’t carry on the same tempo with which we started the match.”

Manpreet hopes to achieve more consistency in the remaining to games.

“We will need to play consistently in all four quarters and that will focus on doing that in the upcoming two matches against France and South Africa. It will obviously be good if we can end the tour with winning points," he concluded.

India is currently placed third in the pool standings behind Netherlands and Belgium respectively who have played four matches. It will take on France on Saturday followed by South Africa on Sunday.

Both matches start 9:30pm IST.

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