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Teams keyed up to play out the semi- finals of the Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women)

Looking at Vandana to continue her form: Ritu Rani

New Delhi, 13 March 2015: Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium witnessed the quarter- final clashes of the Hero FIH World League Round 2 (Women) where, India, Poland, Thailand and Malaysia recorded their respective wins to enter the semi- finals of the Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women).

High on spirits, Malaysia and Poland will be seen competing in full zest as both the teams have a knack to turn the tables. Unbeaten so far in the tournament, Malaysia claimed a victory over Ghana 2-0 in the quarter- finals to book its berth in semi- finals. The Malaysian girls started their campaign with a win over Kazakhstan in the opening match by 8-0. Continuing the winning spree in their second outing, Malaysia defeated Russia 3-0 giving them no opportunity to score goals easily. Then they edged Singapore with a well deserved 5-0 win before concluding with a win over Ghana in the quarter final clash. On the other hand, Poland who has pocketed three wins out of the four matches played will now intend to carry the same energy in order to give a tough fight to Malaysia. Going down by India in the pool phase, Poland registered win over Thailand and Ghana before defeating Russia yesterday in the quarter- final clash.

Post defeating Singapore with a huge goal margin of 0- 10, India caught the eye as they won all the four matches played till now and enters the semi- final of the tournament to face Thailand. In its first encounter against Thailand, Indian eves routed them 6-0. Registering a victory in their previous clash, India outplayed Ghana 13-0 and further defeats Poland by 0-2. India will be looking forward to make their home advantage count with an aim to secure a win against Thailand. On the contrary, Thailand who was defeated by Poland 1-4 in their opening match, won against Ghana and Russia making it to the semis. Consequently, Thailand will be looking to avenge the loss where they were defeated by India.

With both the sides showcasing much agility packed with on-field skills, Russia and Ghana will be seen contesting a very crucial match tomorrow. After Russia’s impressive win over Singapore 7-0 in their first match, they lost to Malaysia 0-3 and Kazakhstan 2-3. Also, beaten by Poland 2-4 in the quarter finals, Russia now aims to put in their best efforts so as to perk up their performance in the upcoming semi finals. Ghana, who is not able to add even a single win to its credit till now, is looking to register its first win in the semi- finals of the tournament playing against Russia.

Where both the teams are in their splendid form, Singapore and Kazakhstan enters the semi- final clash and looks ahead to give a tough fight to each other. Singapore made an awful start to their campaign and lost to Russia 0-7. In their outing against Kazakhstan and Malaysia, Singapore was defeated by 4-0 and 5-0 respectively. Playing against the commendable Indian team in the quarter- final clash, Singapore was defeated by India 0-10. From here on, the team will be looking at being on the attack displaying the finest of their game- skills. On the other side, with a win against Singapore in their last encounter, Kazakhstan will make efforts to repeat the upshot of the last clash against Singapore, advancing to the next stage with a high seeding.

Anticipating a good Semi- Final clash, India Captain, Ritu Rani said, “I am really happy of the fact that we have won all the matches played till now. This has made us even more confident of playing the matches ahead. With a record of defeating Ghana and Singapore with a huge goal margin 13-0 and 10- 0, respectively, the girls aim to repeat the instance and make it to the finals of the tournament. We aim for a better penalty corner conversion rate and make our attack even stronger in the next match against Thailand. We will look to carry out our game strategies in high detail and structure as we anticipate an intense clash against Thailand. I am looking at Vandana to continue her form fortomorrow’s clash and keeping getting the goals”.

Speaking on the team’s preparation, Kazakhstan’s Gulnara Imangaliyeva said, “It was a very disappointing performance by the team yesterday as we lost many chances. This is how this game is and we must try harder in coming matches. We need to be stronger than this.”

Commenting on the past performance and the upcoming Semi- Final clash Ghana’s Coach Osei Boakye-Yiadom said,“Yesterday, the game went wrong from the very beginning as the team did not perform according to the plan and Poland took advantage of that. We cannot take Ghana lightly as we saw their game against Malaysia yesterday and they gave a pretty tough fight to them therefore we have to be very careful. The team is going under technical training mainly to keep up with the fitness.”

The matches of the Hero FIH World League Round 2 (Women) are telecast LIVE and exclusive on DD Sports.

Semi- Finals Match Schedule (14 March 2015):

1315 5/8 -Singapore VS Kazakhstan

1530 5/8 – Russia VS Ghana

1745 Semi Final 1 – Poland VS Malaysia

2000 Semi Final 2 – India VS Thailand

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