A resounding start to its campaign, notwithstanding, the Indian women’s hockey team will look to guard against complacency when it takes on Malaysia in its second Pool A match of the Junior Asia Cup here on Monday.
The Indian women started their Junior Asia Cup sojourn with a morale-boosting 22-0 crushing of a lowly Uzbekan.
As many as eight players — Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Mumtaz Khan, Annu, Sunelita Toppo, Manju Chorsiya, Deepika Soreng, Deepika and Neelam, regered their names on the scoresheet as India ticked all the boxes against Uzbekan.
Annu slammed a double hat-trick, while Mumtaz Khan and Deepika fired in four goals each. Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Sunelita Toppo and Deepkia Soreng found the net twice in India’s tournament opener.
And come Monday, India will look to carry on their superlative form against Malaysia.
India captain Preeti said they would look to carry on their form in the remaining matches of the tournament.
“We’ve had a fantastic start to the tournament, establishing a strong foundation, and our aim is to maintain that same level of determination as we face Malaysia,” she said in a release.
“The solid victory in our opening match has bolstered our confidence, providing the impetus required to carry us forward in the tournament.
It’s worth noting that Malaysia boasts a formidable team, and thus we anticipate a closely fought contest.” Malaysia, on the other hand, too have started the tournament on a promising note, regering a comfortable 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei. And they would be eager to test their mettle against the Indians.
Notably, both the teams last locked horns in 2015 during the women’s Junior Asia Cup and it was India that emerged victorious with a 9-1 win.
Looking at the strength of both the teams, the Indians definitely will start as favourites.
After Malaysia, India will face Korea on Tuesday, followed their final pool game against Chinese Taipei on June 8