Indians brace up for English test

India will go all out, seeking full points, when they clash with England on Monday in their second group fixture of the hockey World Cup after missing the chance to gain a point against fancied Belgium, thanks to a last-minute goal.

The Indian team will be looking to avenge their 0-2 loss to England in the World League Finals in New Delhi earlier this year. Spearheaded by Ashley Jackson, who was sold for USD 73,000 in the Hockey India league auction last year, England are not a very attacking side, but are adept in capitalising on the lapses in rival defenses.

Plugging the gaps in the defense is what the Indian coaching staff was today trying to work on, after the dejection of conceding the winner to Belgium with just 15 seconds left for the hooter. Combating England’s typical European style of defensive hockey will put to test the work new coach Terry Walsh and technical director Roelent Oltmans have done with the Indian team in the past six months.

The Indian team today woke up still suffering from the pangs of the missed chance to garner a point against Belgium, the European Cup runners-up who were among the teams tipped to make the semifinals from Group A behind defending champions Australia.

England squandered a first-half lead to draw 1-1 against Spain in their opening game with skipper Barry Middleton playing the pivot.

Walsh may be dejected at his wards not securing a point from their first outing, but the performance has raised his belief in the players. But he knows that they can not afford to repeat the mistakes in the England match.  England coach Bobby Crutchley is frustrated at not having got full points from the first game and said he would look to improve on that against India.

Germany drub SA

Olympic champions Germany kickstarted their campaign to reclaim the World Cup title with a 4-0 drubbing of South Africa on Sunday.

Results: Men: Germany: 4 (Christopher Zeller 27th, Thilo Stralkowski 35th, Mats Grambusch 56th, Oliver Koren 59th) bt South Africa; Netherlands: 3 (Valentin Verga 26th, Mink van der Weerden 40th, Rogler Hofman 50th) bt Argentina: 1 (Gonzalo Pelliat 33rd).  
Women: US: 2 (Palge Selenski 3rd, Kelsey Kolojejchick 15th) bt England: 1 (Kate Richardson Walsh 56th); Germany: 1 (Hannah Kruger 60th) drew with China: 1 (Yang Peng 61st).

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