Bhubaneswar: A 25-member Bombay Engineering Group (BEG) hockey team from Pune have come to support the Indians for the hosts’ final Pool B match against Germany at the Kalinga Stadium here, Monday. The group mainly supports the Indian Army on technical issues during wars and crises are incidentally friends-cum-colleagues of the India goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Suraj Karketta.
“We are mainly here to cheer our friends Akash and Suraj. It is sad that India are still winless but I believe they will turn the table today (Monday),” Premananda Maibam, one of the seniors in the group said before the game. But then they had to leave disappointed as the Indians lost their second match in a row.
Asked about India’s chances in the tournament, BEG team coach Sagar Thakur said, “It’s difficult to comment now. It is a tough competition. Hopefully, India will be able to raise their level and qualify for the semifinals at least,” he stated.
The group is optimistic that Akash will regain confidence and form for the rest of the tournament after a poor show against England. “Hopefully, he will improve as the tournament progresses,” the goalkeeper’s friends said in unison before entering the stadium. Their hopes also did not materialise when Akash committed a howler to concede a goal when Germany got their first penalty corner.
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