Sun, 05 Feb 2023

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], January 22 (ANI): India captain Harmanpreet Singh confessed that he is struggling to convert the penalty strokes while addressing a media briefing after the hosts lost to New Zealand in the crossover on Sunday.

The drag-flicker talked about his form at the Hockey World Cup, saying that he has been trying really hard, without any success to convert the chances offered in the form of penalty corners.

"Of course, everyone is talking about penalty corner conversion. I am trying but it is not coming off. It's been a while since taking captaincy," expressed the captain.

Describing his failed attempt during the penalty shootout, he said, "My mindset was to score the goal going into the sudden-death shootout. We could have sealed the match there. We tried hard but unfortunately failed to convert."Head coach Graham Reid PC also underlined the team's inability to convert the penalty corner but also highlighted the missed chance during circle penetrations.

"Obviously, corner conversion. We had circle penetration but failed to convert them into goals. Not having converted the penalties is a factor but that is not the only factor. Right now the focus will be to do well in matches against Germany in FIH Pro League," mentioned Reid.

Sharing his thoughts on India's performance he said, "Tonight was about consistency. Every team at certain stages have specific issues with circle penetration. It is skill execution. It is about creating chances and we are doing that. As far as training and as far as practice this team does everything."New Zealand held their nerves to oust India in the penalty shootout at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday as the host crashed out of the 2023 Hockey World Cup.

Despite being ahead in the game, India missed the opportunity to build on a 3-1 lead in the third quarter, when New Zealand scored twice in the final quarter to tie the game 3-3 at the end of the regular time forcing a shootout.

In regular time, India's goals came from Lalit Upadhyay (17 minutes), Sukhjeet Singh (24 minutes), and Varun Kumar (40 minutes), whereas the Black Sticks' goals came from Sam Lane (28 minutes), Kane Russell (43 minutes), and Sean Findlay (49 minutes).

India battled back to a tie at 3-3 in the shootout thanks to a few outstanding saves from seasoned goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, and had two chances in the sudden death as Shamsher Singh missed the final shootout attempt to lose 4-5 in front of the home crowd. (ANI)

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