Lucknow: Harjeet Singh might have played like a real leader to guide India to a 5-3 win over England at the men's Junior Hockey World Cup here, but the soft-spoken skipper credited the win to the entire team, saying the hosts played "simple hockey".
Harjeet was in total control of the midfield, snatching balls and creating chances from counter attacks for his strikers, as India virtually assured their place in the quarterfinals.
"We played simple hockey today. We just did simple, simple things. We have to play according to the opposition. England is a good team so we raised our bar," Harjeet told reporters at the post-match press conference.
"Today from the beginning we had good energy. All the players performed their duties on the field.
"After scoring the first goal we kept on putting pressure on them (England) by scoring more goals. Jaise coach sir humesha kehte hain ke murde ko itne keel gardo ke who aur uthne hi nahi paye (as the coach sir always say when a coffin is buried, keep on putting as much nail as possible so that there is no possibility of him getting up from the grave)," he said.
India didn't have a great start as it was England who drew the first blood in the 10th minute but Harjeet said there was no pressure on the team after conceding the goal and they were confident of their victory.
"We didn't have any pressure after conceding the first goal because we were confident. We knew there was plenty of time left and in hockey 2-3 minutes is big," he said.
India's head coach Harendra Singh was satisfied with his wards performance but warned the players to control their emotions on the turf.
Leading 5-1, India gave away too many fouls, which resulted in two yellow and two green cards in the last 10 minutes and in the process the hosts conceded two unnecessary goals.
"They are playing World Cup and you have to accept it that there will be anxiety which was there in the first 20 minutes of the opening match (against Canada). You have to accept that they are youngsters who wait 4 years for a big tournament so excitement will always be there," Harendra said.
"The fouls were unnecessary. We need to control our emotions. Better that it has happened here but we can't afford such mistakes in the knockout stage," Harendra said.
Harendra, however, was satisfied with the overall performance of the team.
"We took a very important step today in terms of tactics as well as technique. We scored field goals, tried variations in penalty corners, counter attacked. Day by day improvement is evidently visible. I would like to congratulate the entire team," the coach said.
Updated Date: Dec 11, 2016 12:30:50 IST