The Hague, Netherlands: In its last warm-up game played against South Africa on Wednesday Team India displayed maturity and sense of purpose to achieve resounding victory over South Africa 4-1.
India dominated the game from the very first half of the game itself, when Vice-Captain Rupinder Pal Singh made no mistake in converting a penalty corner opportunity and took a 1-0 lead over South Africa at the end of the first half. In the second half of the game, it was Rupinder Pal Singh again who successfully converted another penalty corner to further add on to the lead and take it to 2-0.
South Africa did manage to convert one penalty corner out of all the opportunities to reduce the margin, but India restricted them from scoring any further goals demonstrating a strong defence line-up that India has been working on. To further add to the scoring account, it was Captain Sardar Singh who contributed through a field goal and raised the score to 3-1, which was followed by V R Raghunath’s successful penalty corner to seal the victory with a 4-1 on the board against South Africa.
Speaking on team India’s performance, Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, said, “The first half of the match turned out to be a little slower than expected, but the second half of the game saw a really good performance by the team, where defence also gave an excellent response. We are happy to see both Lalit Upadhyay and Yuvraj Walmiki living up to the expectations from their very first match itself. The team has been preparing for a long time now and it’s time for the boys to deliver their best. I am confident that the boys will perform well in this tournament.”
Speaking on the win, Captain Sardar Singh said, “It was the second practice game and I am glad the team is showing good results. The good part is that we all understand the wavelength and carry on with the game with the same mindset. This win against South Africa will further help in boosting the confidence of every player and especially Lalit Upadhyay and Yuvraj Walmiki as it was their first game. We are ready to take up more challenges and deliver even better results in the tournament.”