Bhubaneswar: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team started their campaign at the FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League 2022/23 with mixed results, as they picked up a thrilling 4-3 win over New Zealand in their first game, and then went down 2-3 against Spain on Sunday at the iconic Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
In their first game of the season, India went past the Kiwis with Mandeep Singh (52′, 57′) scoring a brace, while Mandeep Mor (14′) and skipper Harmanpreet Singh (42′) scoring a goal each as well.
On Sunday, Captain Harmanpreet Singh (27′) and Abhishek (55′) scored a goal each for India, but Eduard de Ignacio-Simo (17′), Captain Marc Miralles (27′), and Marc Reyne (57′) scored three goals for Spain to help their team pick up the win.
Speaking on the team’s performance after the match against Spain, Indian Men’s Hockey Team captain Harmanpreet Singh said that they will work upon improving their finishing before the next round of matches.
“We were creating a lot of chances. We received a lot of penalty corners. We were trying for different variations and combinations. But sometimes, they do not work out. We have two more matches to go next week, so hopefully we will try to convert more chances,” the Indian defender said.
India will face off against New Zealand once again on November 4th and then will have a rematch against Spain on November 6th.
“We try to play with full pressure. So, we can create attacking chances. We were able to intercept a lot of passes and enter into the circle. But we can improve upon our finishing,” Harmanpreet added.
Speaking on playing once again in front of the home crowd at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Harmanpreet praised the Indian fans for constantly showing their support and added that it gives the team a reason to constantly improve.
“It was great to play once again at the Kalinga Stadium. This is our second home and we always receive massive support from the crowd here. So, it brings us a lot of positive vibes that we can do better and push ourselves,” he signed off.