Irfan confident ahead of Asia Cup

Henrietta Brewer
October 11, 2017

In 22nd minute, Lalit Upadhyay executed some world class ball play and scored a brilliant goal, putting India ahead again. India thrashed Japan by five goals to one in a Group A match. Kenji Kitazato scored an equaliser in the very next minute for Japan.

Harmanpreet Singh converted two penalty corners while man-of-the-match Lalit Upadhyay and Cinglensana Kangujam stuck one goal apiece to give India a winning start in a bid to regain the title which they won in 2007.

"The boys are looking in full form and they will get better results in Asia Cup", he said.He said that unfortunately the team could not come up to the expectations in the World Hockey League (WHL). India did not let Japan make a comeback into the game and kept the possession to end the third quarter with the same score-line. Meanwhile, he applauded the work of PHF to revive hockey in Pakistan.He congratulated the PHF for organising such a colorful tournament featuring 11 worldwide goalkeepers.

"The opening match is always challenging because we need to get over early nervousness and find our rhythm".

This sensational win against Japan must have issued a warning to other Pool A participants - Bangladesh and Pakistan - who will be facing India next. "The team is upbeat and ready for the first challenge", he said on the eve of the tournament opener.

The Asia Cup is the beginning of a new phase in Indian hockey as it will be the first test for newly-appointed coach Sjoerd Marijne, who replaced fellowman Roelant Oltmans.

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