India face Russia in opener

Updated: 29 February 2008 08:48 IST

A nervous India will launch their campaign in the World hockey Olympic qualifying tournament with a match against Russia on Saturday.

India face Russia in opener

Santiago:

A nervous India will launch their campaign in the World hockey Olympic qualifying tournament with a match against Russia on Saturday, fully aware that any slip-up at this stage could shatter their hopes of an Olympic berth.

Since only the winner of the tough six-nation tournament would book a place in the Beijing Olympics, Chief Coach Joaquim Carvalho wants to take one match at a time and not leave any thing to chance.

The Indians are keen to win their opening match against Russia with a big margin to avoid the pitfall of goal difference in the later stages of the tournament.

"Russians are an unknown quantity and so, there is no room for any complacency. Our simple strategy would be to score as many goals and win the match," Carvalho said on the eve of the match.

"It would be the same for the other games. That way, we will avoid the pitfalls of goal-difference or depending on results of other matches," he said at the sprawling Prince of Wales club here.

Carvalho, however, admitted that the task on hand was indeed difficult and the pressure factor could play a decisive role in the fortunes of all the teams.

"It is not just India who will be under pressure, but all the other teams too. We have done everything possible to get the players in top condition and I am confident that we will deliver some strong results," he said.

Topics : Hockey
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