Though India overcame the Russia challenge 4-2 in the 1st leg of their Olympic qualifiers on Friday, skipper Manpreet Singh feels that they need to do better in penalty corner conversions and improve their energy levels in the second leg game against Russia on Saturday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
Notably, 22nd ranked Russia, who lost 0-10 to India in their meeting before Friday, bettered their record against the home team by scoring twice in the match in the first leg. However, India outplayed the guests with a two-goal difference.
“We did not play up to the mark. We need to play better tomorrow than we did today. They also have come here for the qualification, so tomorrow is the most important day,” Manpreet said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
India earned a number of penalty corners in the match, including two in the final minute. While the last two and one other were brilliantly saved by Russian goalkeeper Marat Gafarov, India left a lot to be desired in the others.
“We created chances. We couldn’t convert the PCs (penalty corners) because there were a lot of errors. We need to improve upon them tomorrow.
“We also need to improve our energy levels. I think our energy levels weren’t that strong today. We need to watch our game and come back strongly tomorrow,” Manpreet added.