Monchengladbach: India's chief coach Neil Hawgood has attributed the women's team's success in the ongoing Junior Hockey World Cup to the experience his wards have attained while playing at the senior level.
India fielded more or less the same team which came a cropper in the FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam in June and Hawgood said the experience of playing at the senior level worked wonders for the junior girls.
"The success has come from all the big losses as we have been beaten by top teams of the world in World League Round 3. Now, the senior level experience has helped the girls here at the Junior World Cup," a jubilant Hawgood said after India defeated Spain 4-2 to earn their maiden semifinal place in the event.
"The girls were a bit nervous at the beginning but they showed character and continued to work for 70 minutes," said the Australian, who is incharge of Indian women's hockey teams.
India captain Sushila Chanu feels the key to today's success was team spirit.
"The key was scoring and team spirit. We decided to win this match and played fast throughout the whole game. We are very excited now as we have never reached the semifinals before. Of course, we would love to qualify for the final as well," she said.
Striker Rani, who scored India's last goal against Spain, added: "This is amazing. It is a great day for Indian hockey. I knew that we will win today if we keep up the pressure."