Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup: Graham Reid optimistic about India’s chances vs Belgium


Bhubaneswar: With quarterfinal encounter scheduled to take place in one day, Indian colts had been improving in attack in the defence so that they be able to beat Belgium to qualify for the semifinal stage and keep their championship defence campaign alive.

Speaking on it, India Chief coach Graham Reid on Saturday expressed confidence that they will be able to beat top contenders Belgium in their quarter-final encounter in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar on December 1.

Reid was pleased with his team’s performance in thumping Poland 8-2 in their last preliminary league encounter on Saturday.

“I was pretty happy, to be honest, We started well which was the plan to put some scoreboard pressure on them which was good, and we did the same in the second half that also helps. Our press and our defence was a little bit better than in previous days. We had a lot of opportunities tonight and it is always hard to put away so many chances,” he told the media in the mixed zone on Saturday.

Reid added that they will use the opportunity to analyse their own game as well as that of their opponents in order to devise an efficient plan to put it across the European giants. Belgium won Pool A with seven points, while India ended second with six points behind France(9 points).

Besides, this matchup will be a rematch of the 2016 Junior Hockey World Cup final, which took place in Lucknow and saw the hosts upset Belgium to clinch their second championship at the U-21 level.

“We now have three days and I was talking to the group that we have three days and we will prepare and we will do well. We will look at all the videos we can and we will be analyzing our game and we will be analyzing Belgium and we came out last night as a team to see them play against Malaysia, so that was good. They (the players) had a look at them play and we are very confident and hopefully, we can go and get a victory, on Saturday Reid said.

Vivek Sagar Prasad, the skipper, said they will strive to avoid receiving so many cards in the match against Belgium, which allowed Poland to seize the initiative and score two goals in the fourth quarter.

He stated that they will give it their all in the quarter-finals against Belgium.”Belgium is a very good team and we will try to do our best against them. We will study their games and prepare our game plan,” he concluded.




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