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Patience pays for India but PC conversion rate still dismal

Source: PTI
August 07, 2023 15:09 IST
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India will next be up against defending champions South Korea on Monday

IMAGE: India will next be up against defending champions South Korea on Monday. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

The perennial problem of penalty corner conversions has impacted India in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy, but chief coach Craig Fulton is not too perturbed, saying bad days from set pieces won't "stay forever".

The South African is happy with the fact that his side is finding the back of the net from field play.

"I think we defended well and that helped us put an attack in place. So, we were able to defend from a lot of areas in the field that helped us counter, which is good. We scored some field goals, which got the boys some confidence," he told PTI after Sunday's 5-0 win over Malaysia.


"As far as penalty corner conversion rate (in this match) is concerned, you will have a bad day, but it won't stay bad forever. And we had a good balance today (Sunday)."

In the 1-1 draw against Japan, India secured 15 penalty corners but converted just one. The grim reality continued against Malaysia on Sunday when they just converted two out of 10 set pieces.

Asked about the areas of improvement, Fulton highlighted that his boys could have received lesser number of cards, besides being more tactically aware of the opposition.

"We got two yellow cards that I need to look into again. But the improvement areas are just general. It's being tactically aware of what the opposition is doing and how we play in that phase. We are not yet where we need to be upfront as a team, but that's ok," he said.

India will next take on defending champions South Korea on Monday.

"You gotta do it all over again and take nothing for granted. And, it's a back-to-back game, so it will be tough. We will look at what happened tonight (Sunday), take the positives and go again," he said.

India vice-captain and midfielder Hardik Singh said patience is what paid off for the team against Malaysia, besides noting that controlling the tempo helps in creating goal-scoring chances.

"I think it was all about patience today (Sunday). We realised that we cannot win any game in the first half, so patience was a vital show from the team," he said.

"If we are unable to score, we still have the ball, and we are setting the tempo, so the goal has to come some time or the other. Also, the decent number of field goals today makes this triumph even sweeter.

"Besides having patience and maintaining the tempo, what was positive was that even after earning the cards, we didn't concede any goals," he signed off.

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