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Women’s Hockey: It is do or die for India against Ireland

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Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi:  India is left with no choice or alternative, they have to win against Ireland to stay alive in the Women’s Olympic competition on Thursday.

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India has lost three matches in a row while Ireland comes into this game with a win and two defeats.  so, the fourth encounter becomes do or die affair for Rani Rampaul and her team. 

A win will give India’s chances a tremendous boost as they will take on lowly South Africa in their last league fixture. A win for Ireland will take them to quarterfinals making the last league match for India a dead rubber.

 Coach Sjoerd Marijne reflected on India’s performance against Great Britain, and talked about the changes that he was contemplating for the match against Ireland.

 “We underperformed as a team against Great Britain. It wasn’t a good match on our part, and we must quickly put it behind us and move on as there are still 6 very crucial points to play for in the Group Stage”. 

“We have to aim for the full 6 points from the next two games. It’s now or never,” said Marijne.
 
Captain Rani opined that the team must assess their performance relative to the strength of opposition they have faced so far in the competition. 
 
“Our Olympic campaign began with a series of matches against three of the best hockey teams in the world. Although the results have not been in our favour, 

“we have approached and played each match with the right mentality. We will continue to do so in the next two games, and give it everything we have as a team to try and get 6 points to qualify for the knockout rounds,” said Rani.
 
About the match against Ireland, Rani said, “Ireland are a good team, and they are also our closest competitor in our Pool. We have to do better to convert our goal scoring chances against them; both in terms of field goal attempts and penalty corners. 

We did well against Great Britain to win so many penalty corners; our goal came from a PC as well. We have to improve our conversion rate in the coming matches.” she added
 
HSB 

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