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Scratchy PC attempts does not perturb Indian coach (11/29/2018)
--s2h Team
After starting their World Cup campaign with a 5-0 rout of South Africa at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, India coach Harendra Singh did not allow any room for complacency. Nor did he let in any negativity.

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In a crucial area of the game, the penalty corner, India converted two out of five awards but the goals that came from the set piece were scratchy, a bit messy, but they counted.

Mandeep Singh scored from the first penalty corner after Harmanpreet Singh’s drag flick was blocked by goalkeeper Pieterse Rassie.

From PC4, Simranjeet found the net to make it 4-0 after the injection went past the double castle where Harmanpreet and Amit Rohidas poised for the strike.

“It does not matter who scored and how the goals were scored,” the coach said. “The players showed presence of mind by not running back after the ball was not stopped properly,” he added.

Still, Harendra tempered euphoria by calling for introspection by his fifth-ranked team. “We have to look back and find out why we weren’t able to trap the ball at the PC and/ or whether the injection was improper,” he said.

undefined At 2-0 the game could have swung the 15th ranked African champions’ way had Sreejesh not affected a save off a deflection and Harendra reflected on an anxious situation in that phase when he felt South Africa “smelled a goal.”

It, in all probability, it influenced his decision to retain Sreejesh to the very end and not pitchfork Krishan Pathak into action to get the feel of the action.

“I thought about it but it is important to retain momentum and wanted Sreejesh to be there to the end and the team to keep a clean slate. Remember it’s the league phase and a goal in the last match could be disastrous,” the coach said with a reference to goal difference that may come into play in a pool also involving Belgium, the third ranked side, and Canada, ranked 11th.

India play Belgium, the Olympic silver medalists, on Sunday.

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