Nobbs happy with India’s 4-0 win over South AfricaJanuary 17th, 2012 - 12:30 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Eight-time Olympic champions India warmed up for next month’s Olympic qualifiers with a clinical 4-0 win over South Africa in the first of the five-match Karbonn Cup (hockey) Test series at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium here Monday.
India were in the attacking mode right from the start and led 3-0 at the break with strikes from Shivendra Singh (15th minute), Birendra Lakra (24th) and Sardara Singh (28th). S.K. Uthappa struck on debut to complete the scoreline in the 53rd minute.
India coach Michael Nobbs was pleased with the performance of two debutants, Uthappa and Harbir Singh.
The Australian also rested India captain and first choice goalkeeper Bharat Chettri for the match as P.Sreejesh took his place under the bar. Sreejesh had a good day stopping the two penalty corners that came South Africa’s way in the second half.
Nobbs’ new combination paid rich dividends and the Australian said there would be more changes in the second game here Tuesday. Nobbs will be trying out all the 44 probables during the five-match series.
Nobbs, though was happy with the result, said the scoreline was not important.
“We had a good first half. We created plenty of chances and scored three goals but we were sloppy as the game went on. For me the scoreline is not important in this series. We could have scored more goals but in the end the match practice was really important for us,” he said.
Nobbs was all praise for Harbir Singh and Uthappa.
“Harbir played a solid game. Uthappa too was impressive. But we will keep on changing our team combination because we want to give everyone the opportunity to show their talent,” Nobbs said.
Earlier in the day, the women’s team won 2-1 for their second successive win over Azerbaijan in the second of the four Tests.
Ritu Rani have India the lead in the 18th minute and five minutes kater Gyeonga Kim fired the equaliser and both the team went into break locked at 1-1. A deflection off India captain Ashunta Lakra was cleverly nudged by Saba Anjum for the winner in the 40th minute.
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Tags: 53rd, cup hockey, debutants, equaliser, first choice, five minutes, harbir singh, match, New Delhi, olympic champions, olympic qualifiers, penalty corners, probables, rich dividends, scoreline, second game, south africa, strikes, team combination, test series