London (England), 30 July 2018: Ahead of a ‘Crucial’ Crossover Match against Italy on Tuesday at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, the Indian Women’s Team Captain Rani has insisted her team needs to focus on bringing their ‘A’ Game if they want to see themselves play the Quarter Final.
“We need to just focus on ourselves, build on our strength and ensure we use our positive points in the match against Italy. There is no doubt we need to go all-out in this crucial crossover match if we want to see ourselves in the Quarter Final,” stated the ace striker whose goal against USA helped the team draw the match 1-1 and split the points that ensured the team reached the Crossovers Stage by finishing third in Pool B.
Speaking about the Team’s performance against USA on Sunday, Rani said, “Ahead of the match against USA, when we had the team meeting, we discussed how this is our do-or-die match and though we all knew a draw would be enough, we wanted to go for the win. I think that ‘hunger to win’ attitude helped us on Sunday.
During our training sessions we play a lot of games, or involve in match-situations where we are under pressure and work on how we can play without taking outside pressure of a packed stadium. We enter a match with the attitude that if we play a good match then the crowds will support us and that we must fight for the ball. I am proud of how the team played against USA and now we need to once again do everything we can to win against Italy.”
With Italy’s good show in the Pool Stage where they beat China 3-0 in the first match and ensured 1-0 win against Asian Champions Trophy winners Korea in their second match but lost 1-12 to the Netherlands in the third match, Rani feels her team must take Italy as a serious contender and draw inspiration from their victory at the 2015 Hockey World League Semi-final Tournament where they had beaten the Italian Team in a shootout.
“Italy is a good team and they have enjoyed good wins in this tournament too. But we need to go into the match with the self-belief that we can beat them and we must draw inspiration from the 2015 Hockey World League Semi-final Tournament where we beat them in a thrilling shootout,” Rani asserted.
On 31 July 2018, India will take on Italy in the Crossovers Match at 22.30 IST.