Their campaign might be back on track following a massive win over lowly Canada, but defending champions India are still not out of the woods and would need to beat Poland in their final Pool B match to qualify for the quarterfinals of the FIH Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup here on Saturday.
The defeat dealt a massive blow to India’s campaign and put paid to their hopes of topping their pool.
Given the scenario, complacency has no place in the Indian scheme of things if they wish to defend their title.
But against Canada on Thursday, the hosts roared back and looked more organised.
”…But we can’t do anything about that now (loss against France). If we have to win back-to-back titles, we will have to beat every team henceforth,” Reid had said.
”We will not like to think ahead of us, we have a match against Poland before that and that’s what we will be thinking about. We have to win that before we think about the next stage.” The Indian colts will have to be at their best in every match to progress in the tournament.
”It is a learning experience for the boys. Every match is one experience. That’s what I have always been telling the senior players as well,” said Reid, who guided the senior Indian team to a historic bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics.
In both the matches, India created numerous scoring opportunities but failed to capitalise on them.
In Sanjay, Araijeet Singh Hunda, who also scored a hat-trick against Canada, and Shardanand Tiwari, the Indians boast of three potent penalty corner specialists with three different styles and technique.
If that is not enough, Abhishek Lakra is the team’s fourth option from set pieces, an alarming sign for any opponent.
The Indian backline, however, will have to be on its toes going into the business end of the tournament, especially after the lacklustre outing against France.
Top two teams from four pools will qualify for the quarterfinals, which will begin on December 1.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)