New Delhi, 09 March 2015: Before entering into the Quarter Finals of the ongoing Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women), the eight participating teams were seen gearing up to play their last pool match of the tournament, scheduled to take place tomorrow at Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi.
Sitting at the top of their pool table, in Pool B, Malaysia has had an outstanding start to the tournament as they concluded both their matches with a win. Where, in their first match, Malaysia defeated Kazakhstan by 8-0, their second match against Russia ended with a 3-0 victory. Malaysia will now be taking on Singapore with an aim to continue their winning streak.
Having lost their first match of the tournament against Malaysia on the opening day, Kazakhstan made an impressive comeback in their second match against Singapore, where they defeated the latter with a 4-0 on board and are now preparing to take on Russia, tomorrow.
Where Poland has secured one win to their name in their first match against Thailand by 4-1, they lost by 2-0 to India in a close contested match. Sweating it out on the field in order to better their skills, Poland is showing signs of being a tough contender in the tournament and that they are ready to take on bigger challenges. Poland will be playing their last pool match against Ghana, tomorrow.
Topping Pool A with two consecutive victories in the tournament, hosts India are riding high on their successful start in the league. Where India thrashed Ghana with a whooping 13-0 on day 1, they also bagged their second match of the league against Poland by 2-0. Tomorrow, India will be seen battling it out with Thailand, which has only one win to its kitty out of the two matches played so far.
Speaking after their practice session today, Head Coach of Kazakhstan Serik Kalimbayev said, “The practice session went really well. The team is putting in their best effort for the upcoming game against Russia. Our target is to win the tournament and we are planning our strategies accordingly.”
Post their training session, Thailand Captain Boonta Duangurai said, “We have our plans and strategies in place for our match against India tomorrow. India is a strong team so we need to work really hard. We keep motivating each other and work on our communication during the game, which is an integral part.”
Excited on playing the next match against Singapore, Coach of Malaysia Fatin Sukri Mahd said, “I am happy with the matches played so far. We could have done better with the technical skills. The next match is as important as the final match and we are motivating ourselves to perform better in the match.”
Speaking on the preparations of the team, Malaysian Captain Siti Ruhani said, “The practice today was quite satisfactory. In the last match our target was to win and we accomplished that. But now we want to keep going with full efforts to position ourselves so as to top our pool.”
Commenting on the team’s structure and the strategies, Hockey India High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans said, “Looking at the less number of openings we gave away to the opponents, I think the team is doing very good in terms of structure and defence as well. We created good chances in the first game but in the second game against Poland we lacked in few areas. I am sure the future matches will be better. Average percentage of penalty corner conversion is around 20-30 percent amongst women, considering we converted 4 out of 12 making it 33 percent, I am happy with the team’s performance. I am looking forward to our next clash with Thailand and hope to win the match.”
The matches of the Hero FIH World League Round 2 (Women) are being telecast LIVE and exclusive on DD Sports.
Tomorrow’s Match schedule:
Malaysia vs Singapore 1315 HRS IST
Russia vs Kazakhstan 1530 HRS IST
Ghana vs Poland 1745 HRS IST
Thailand vs India 2000 HRS IST