This 3-0 win will give India a major morale boost before their match against Pakistan tomorrow. Understandbly, India pulled the pace down in the end not letting the players go all out. A perfect win. Perfect display. India win 3-0 against Canada.
Mandeep Singh displays his sublime skills but cannot get past the army of Canadian sticks and the goalkeeper. Pleads at the referee for a penalty corner. It's less than five minutes left in the match for India to pick up three points and their 2nd win.
This is Canada's best spell in the match. The Pereira's Keegan and Brandon played in tandem but the push went onto the Indian goal's side boards. Canada still looking to open their account in the match. India lead 3-0.
Three tries and yet India couldn't get the 4th goal. First Harmanpreet's flick is saved and his second try is saved by Carter. Chinglensana then does a reverse hit which deflects off the right post. India lead 3-0 with five mins left in the 3rd quarter.
The 3rd quarter to start. India have been skillful and adept in finishing off the chances. But at the same time, they have kept the defence extremely tight. Canada not able to enter the Indian striking circle. The only chance they had they failed to trap with Akash Chikte in front.
India taking things a little bit easy. This has been Canada's best quarter with two penetrations and an opportunity. India, meanwhile, rotate the ball all over the pitch not giving too many balls to the Canadians. At the break, India lead 3-0.
Former Indian Hockey captain and Arjuna Awardee Jagbir Singh says it best.
#HWL2017,nice to see team @TheHockeyIndia against Canada in first quarter with full control & patience in build up & perfection in circle
Under pressure, Canada made the wrong pass. Ramandeep snatched and sprinted away with Sardar and Mandeep on the right. At the last moment, Ramandeep flicked it to Sardar who while overlapping pushed it past Carter. India lead 3-0.
Hardly an error by the Indians in the 1st quarter. The defence was solid, midfield innovating constantly while the forwards had the Canadian defence on the run. India will look to increase the 2-0 lead and make this match safe.
Lovely touch by Harjeet. But the innovation outside the Canadian circle is not anticipated by Indian forwards. It's total 1st quarter domination by India. Only two circle penetrations by the Canadian team. And at the end of the 1st Q India lead 2-0.
The opening goal came off a Surender pass into the Canadian striking circle. Sunil's first hit saved by the GK and then he gets the ball again from Mandeep and this time waits before pushing it past Carter. India lead 1-0
High on confidence after an impressive 4-1 win against Scotland, Indian men's hockey team chief coach Roelant Oltmans wants the side to "bring in more aggression" when they face a determined Canada and unpredictable Pakistan in two Pool B clashes of the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
India skipper Manpreet Singh also cautioned his side against any complacency in the upcoming games against Canada and Pakistan.
Akashdeep Singh celebrates after scoring India's third goal against Scotland in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. AP
Commenting on the kind of pressure ahead of a high-octane India-Pakistan match, Manpreet said the team will come up with a good show.
"We always look at Pakistan as just another team and we always look at earning those three points from the match to advance in the league stage. They are a good side, but we have had a good start to the tournament."
"The idea will be to stick to the plans which the coach draws up before the matches against both (Canada and Pakistan) teams. He has asked us to bring in more aggression into our game and aim at finishing on top of the table in the league stage," Manpreet added.
India have a fair record against Canada, having won their league stage matches in the 2015 and 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a score of 5-3 and 3-1 respectively. India also drew a crucial match against them at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But Manpreet said India cannot afford to take the opposition lightly as any team can bounce back in a match.
"Though the team is ranked below us, we don't want to take them lightly. They can come up with a good game and hence it is important for us to stick to the roles assigned by our coach and execute them as planned," he said.
Against Pakistan, India have enjoyed success in the recent past. In 2016, India beat Pakistan 3-2 in both the league and final matches at the men's Asian Champions Trophy.
India also won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Pakistan by a convincing 5-1 margin. This will be the first encounter between the neighbours this year.
Manpreet emphasised that the team has no added pressure as they have already qualified for the HWL Final to be played in Bhubaneswar in December.
"We play with no pressure. We just want to perform to our potential and enjoy ourselves while we give it our best," he said.
Pakistan lost 0-4 to The Netherlands in their opening match on Thursday and will play Canada later on Friday. India will take on Canada in their second Pool B match on Saturday before facing Pakistan on Sunday.
With inputs from IANS
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