Azlan Shah title shows India is on right track: Harendra

April 12th, 2009 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh (Malaysia), April 12 (IANS) India’s hockey coach Harendra Singh said the Azlan Shah Cup title has come at the right time for the country, looking to revive its lost glory in the sport.
India beat Malaysia 3-1 in the final to lift the Azlan Shah Cup after a gap of 13 years and Harendra called it a great day for the Indian hockey.

“It’s a great achivement for Indian hockey. We have won the title after 13 years. Every player contributed to take the team thus far,” Harendra said.

“Indian hockey is slowly and steadily coming back on track. We are heading towards the goal of being in the top six by the year end,” he said.

“The win also gave us a berth for the Asia Cup and we are looking forward to it.”

India bounced back to beat Malaysia and Pakistan after being held 2-2 by debutant Egypt in the first match.

“It has been a roller-coaster ride for the team. The boys showed character and performed when it mattered,” Harendra said.

Indian skipper and drag-flick expert Sandeep Singh has been in good form in the tournament and scripted India’s turnaround. He scored six goals in the tournament.

Sandeep led from front in a must-win game against Pakistan, converting two penalty corners as India won 2-1 to book their fifth final appearance and second successive.

“Sandeep was in good touch throughout the tournament. He scored at crucial moments to bail us out of tight situations,” Harendra said.

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