By Vivek Prabhakar Singh
Bhubaneswar (Odisha)[India], January 20 (ANI): Akashdeep Singh's brace helped India register a 4-2 win against Wales in their Pool D match played here at the Kalinga Stadium on Thursday.
Akashdeep Singh scored goals for India in the 33rd and 46th minutes and was awarded the 'Player of the match' for his stellar performance.
"It was a great effort of the team. As a team, we played really well. We couldn't play the way we played in the first two quarters. We played attacking hockey but couldn't score goals. But we did very well in the third and fourth quarter," said Akashdeep Singh after speaking to ANI.
After playing three matches in pool D, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists are second with two wins in three matches and with seven points in their kitty. England, too, have the same number of points but they have a goal difference of seven goals to India's four. The team that comes second in the pool will have to play a cross-over match to make it to the quarter-final. All this makes the road to the semi-final a tough one.
"The team is fully ready mentally and physically for pre-quarters and quarters. Our focus was to do well in the match against Wales and we won by a difference of two goals. We hope to do well in the coming matches," said Akashdeep Singh.
The Indians made a lot of circle penetrations in the first two quarters of the match but could score only one goal.
After half-time, however, they managed to score more.
"We couldn't score in the first two quarters. We made circle penetrations but there are times you don't get the goals. Wales played defensively because it was their last pool match. This is the reason why we did not get a goal and that is why we couldn't score goals but we managed to score in the third and final quarters," said Akashdeep.
India will now lock horns against New Zealand in a cross-over match. The Black Sticks came third in Pool C after losing 2-3 to Malaysia. (ANI)