Sports

Winning opening match at Hockey Champions Trophy is vital: India coach

Breda : With solid ground work after two back-to-back national training camps at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru, the Indian men's hockey team look upbeat and well-prepared for this week's Champions Trophy.Taking on 13th ranked arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening match on Saturday, India ranked much higher at world number six should have no qualms in overcoming the challenge albeit they keep their emotions in check and stick to the game plan.
Reflecting on the same, chief coach Harendra Singh said that kicking off a campaign with a win is vital to set the momentum for the rest of the tournament."Getting off to a winning start is vital because it sets the momentum for the rest of the tournament. There will be no room for emotions when we take on Pakistan. The team will play against them like any other team where we go for the three points. We have prepared well for this tournament and are confident of a good performance. Our focus will be on playing to the structure and executing our strategies against each opponent without making any errors," asserted the experienced Indian coach.Over the past year, India had enjoyed convincing victories over their nemesis right from the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016, when they had beaten Pakistan in the final.This performance was followed by a dominant double victory against Pakistan in the Hockey World League Semi Final in London 2017 and the Asia Cup in Dhaka where India lifted the title after 10 years.

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