India strikers need to yield results: Chief coach

Antwerp, June 15 (IANS) Indian hockey team coach Paul van Ass said on Monday that his strikers need to convert the opportunities and yield results to take the team forward.

India will be taking part in the Hockey World League (BWL) Semi-Finals from June 20 to July 5 where they have been grouped in Pool A with reigning World Champions Australia, France, arch-rivals Pakistan and Poland. They will open their campaign against France on June 20.

“The practice matches were a huge learning for the team. While we won the match against France, we narrowly lost to Belgium. What came out for me is that we have to increase the pressure on the opponents from the start,” said van Ass.

India had beaten France 1-0 but lost 1-2 to Belgium in the two practice matches they played here. They will next take on the United States.

“We need to work on getting penalty corners in our name apart from looking at capitalising on opportunities in the D. While the boys did a good job in breaking the defence chain of the opponents, they need to ensure they yield results. Getting the initial goal in our name will help us build the pressure.”

The Dutch tactician is also relatively pleased with the performance of the defenders.

“The defence looked strong in both the matches. While we conceded two goals against Belgium, the positive that I take from the game is that the boys are closing the gaps now.”

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