Hockey World League Semi-finals: Indian team eyeing top 2 finish in tournament

Dusseldorf (Germany): Ever-improving Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh on Wednesday said the past masters of the game are eyeing a top two finish in the upcoming Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-finals in London.

But it will be easier said than done as India will have to fight it out against top teams like Argentina, Netherlands, England, Korea and Malaysia for the top honours.

File image of the Indian hockey team. AFP

File image of the Indian hockey team. AFP

"While our aim is to finish top two in London, it's important we play match by match and not take any team lightly especially in the pool stage," said Manpreet, who will lead the side in the absence of regular skipper PR Sreejesh, who is recovering from an injury.

"Our focus will be on getting off to a winning start and carry on the momentum from there," he added.

The Indian team will arrive in London on Friday after playing in the three-nation Invitational tournament featuring hosts Germany and Belgium.

The upcoming HWL Semi-final is a much anticipated and important tournament for India, where they are grouped in Pool B along side Canada, Scotland, Netherlands and Pakistan.

India begin their campaign against Scotland on 15 June followed by matches against Canada on 17 June and arch-rivals Pakistan on 18 June. India will play world no 4 the Netherlands on 20 June.

"We will also play two practice matches against Argentina and England. This will be a good opportunity for us to work on our challenges and focus on areas of improvement identified while playing against Germany and Belgium," Manpreet said.

"We cannot afford to miss out on goal scoring chances and we need to improve our conversion rate," he said.


Published Date: Jun 08, 2017 09:50 am | Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 09:50 am

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