Two green cards at the back end disturbed our rhythm vs England: India hockey coach

by IANS |

Amstelveen (Netherlands), July 4 (IANS) India women's hockey team head coach Janneke Schopman has conceded the two green cards at the back end disturbed the team's rhythm in the opening Pool B match of the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup Spain & Netherlands 2022 against England, which ended in a 1-1 stalemate on Sunday night.

Goals were scored by Isabelle Petter (9th min) and Vandana Katariya (28th min) as they helped their respective teams add a crucial point on the points table.

Reflecting on the performance, India head coach Schopman said, "I think we started the game really well, creating a penalty corner in the opening minute. England were dangerous at times but we managed to play well on the ball and defended calmly most of the time. We were unlucky in our penalty corner execution and in the end the two green cards disturbed our rhythm a little.

"Overall, I'm quite happy with our performance but also know we can be better in certain areas," she added.

Captain Savita, who made some remarkable saves, was happy the team had come out of the tough test with a point in the kitty.

"We knew it was going to be a high-pressure match, and I am happy that we showed great character on the pitch. I think we could have done better and converted our chances to win the match. Nevertheless, we have picked up a valuable point against a very strong team. So, it's a positive start for us."

India will now take on China in their second pool match in Amstelveen on Tuesday. The two teams have faced each other three times this year, with India winning all three matches. India registered a 2-0 win in the 3rd/4th placed match in the Asia Cup and won both the FIH Pro League matches (7-1 and 2-1) earlier this year against their Asian counterparts.

China also played out a 2-2 draw against New Zealand in their opening match of the tournament.

"China is a very good team, they are full of surprises and we will have to be on the top of our game against them. It will be really important to convert our chances and execute our plans perfectly. We are looking forward to a good challenge, and the focus as always will be to play good hockey."

Coach Schopman too added that China will be tough customers, given that they defend doggedly and are very good at taking penalty corners.

"China is a difficult team to beat, they have a very good PC setup and they also defend well. If we can play our own game we can hopefully create some opportunities," she said.

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