Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Potchefstroom [South Africa], April 11 (ANI): After losing the semi-final to the mighty Netherlands 0-3, the Indian junior women's team are now focused on their all-important bronze medal match against England on Tuesday, in the FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup.

For Indian hockey fans, this is a deja-vu moment. Back in the 2013 Women's Junior World Cup too, the Netherlands had beaten India 3-0 in the semi-final and the Indian team led by Sushila Chanu then had faced-off against England in the bronze medal match which they eventually won after a tense shootout.

Will this young team led by Salima Tete be able to repeat the success of 2013 awaits to be seen. But a rather disappointed captain Salima Tete rued the team's missed chances against the Netherlands.

"We are quite disappointed with our match against the Netherlands. We created so many chances but could not convert. It just felt like it wasn't our day," Salima Tete said in a statement.

Moving on, Tete said, the team has had a fruitful discussion post their semi-final debacle and is now focused on the task at hand. "There is no point thinking about what's happened in the past. Now we need to be absolutely focused on the upcoming match against England. Getting off to a good start against them will definitely give us the right momentum and that is what we will be looking for against them," she added.

England, meanwhile, comes into the bronze medal match after a 0-8 loss to Germany in the semi-final on Sunday. They were the table-toppers from pool B, having beaten South Africa and Ireland convincingly. In the quarter-final, they got the better of the USA 2-1 in a thrilling encounter where England recovered from an early setback, having conceded a goal in the 3rd minute.

"England is a good side and we watched videos from their previous matches. I just feel it is important for us to be focused on our game and ensure we score from the chances we create and be tight in our defending. It's important we don't allow space for them and we must play to our strengths," stated vice-captain Ishika Chaudhary. (ANI)

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