Bhubaneshwar: They may have beaten Russia 4-2 in the 1st leg of their Olympic qualifiers here on Friday, but India need to do better in penalty corner conversions and improve their energy levels in the second leg Saturday, said captain Manpreet Singh after the match at the Kalinga Stadium.
Ranked 22nd in the world, Russia, who lost 0-10 against India in the previous meeting between the two sides, ensured that the second leg of the qualifier doesn’t end up being a formality by scoring twice in the first leg.
“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 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 said.