In­dia look to ride the mo­men­tum ver­sus Bangladesh

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Sport - Sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Bol­stered by a dom­i­nat­ing 5-1 win over Ja­pan, In­dia will look to carry for­ward the mo­men­tum when they take on hosts Bangladesh in their sec­ond Pool A match of the men’s Asia Cup.

The In­dian team led by Man­preet Singh hardly broke a sweat against Ja­pan in its cam­paign opener on Wed­nes­day. Apart from an ini­tial set back when Ja­pan equalised in the fourth minute, In­dia sailed through the match im­pro­vis­ing their game and rarely stum­bling against the Ja­panese counter at­tack.

In their first tour­na­ment un­der a new coach, In­dia meant busi­ness and found the net in each quar­ter, twice in the third, to stream­roll their less-fan­cied but tricky op­po­nents. SV Su­nil (3rd minute), Lalit Upadhyay (22nd), Ra­man­deep Singh (33rd) and Har­man­preet Singh (35th and 48th) were on tar­get.

In­dia will be hop­ing to build on the con­fi­dence they have gained from the first match and the team’s chief coach Sjo­erd Mar­i­jne hopes his play­ers put on an im­proved show against the home team on Fri­day. “As a coach, I am al­ways crit­i­cal so I have to say I am not 100 per cent happy with how we played. I be­lieve we can do bet­ter but this was our first match and now that the team is done with shak­ing off the ini­tial jit­ters, I think we can fo­cus on im­proved per­for­mance in the next game,” he said.

Con­sid­er­ing that Bangladesh suf­fered a hu­mil­i­at­ing 0-7 loss in their cam­paign opener against Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day, In­dia will start as over­whelm­ing favourites. The In­di­ans will look to stick to ba­sics and ex­e­cute their plans well. “If we are able to do that (stick to our plans), then I don’t see why we should not win the match,” Mar­i­jne said.

As coach, I am al­ways crit­i­cal so I have to say I am not 100% happy with how we played. We can do bet­ter... we can fo­cus on im­proved per­for­mance.

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