Published On: Fri, Jun 26th, 2015

And the rivalry continues, Pakistan vs India in Hockey World League

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LAHORE: Pakistan head coach Khwaja Junaid said that the Greenshirts should play sensibly against their arch-rivals India in the decider of the Hockey World League(HWL) semi-finals at Antwerp.

While talking to the media after Pakistan’s 6-1 loss to Australia, Junaid said, ‘We need to play a very sensible game against India. We played an ill-planned game against the Australians and now we need to avoid letting emotions get the better of us against India.’

He further said, ‘We need to avoid forced errors as the Indians will go all out in involving our players in a physical game.’

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The HWL semi-finals present Pakistan their last chance to qualify for Rio Olympic Games 2016, in order to qualify for the mega event Greenshirts have to defeat Australia or India. Now they have been beaten by the Aussies, so they will look for a victory against their top-rivals in every sporting event India.

Junaid added, that according to him Pakistan shouldn’t have gone for the victory against Australia. ‘Australia and India have already secured their berths in the Olympics and our priority should’ve been to lessen the margin of defeat against Australia.’

He also said, ‘Pakistan are a better side than India but the only difference is that the Indians have already punched their tickets to Rio so they can be more relaxed.’

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Talking about the match against India, Junaid said, ‘Against India, attacks should be coordinated and the whole team should go forward rather than a lone individual. Pakistan should start with a counter-attacking approach against India and not allow them to build up pressure.’

He praised Pakistan’s goalkeeper Imran Butt and said that he has a quite solid defense, ‘Imran was great against Australia and saved no less than four goals in the opening two quarters. We capitulated afterwards though and couldn’t hold onto possession against the Aussies.’

India qualified for the Olympics after beating Pakistan in the final of last year’s Asian Games in Inchon, but Greenshirts have the upper-hand as they have defeated the Indians in their last fixture by 4-3 in the semi-finals of Champions Trophy in December.

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