Kerala News Journal
Sports

In Australia's next two games, defense will be a priority: Ekka

As the Indian women's hockey team aims to recover and finish the trip with victories over Australia A in these next two games, the emphasis will be on defense and not giving up easy goals.
The Indians have faced Australia in three games, losing the first two 2-4 and 2-3, respectively, before rallying in the third to secure a 1-1 tie.
Australia 'A' will be the opponent for the visitors' last two games of the trip on Thursday and Saturday.
India is preparing for the forthcoming Asian Games with this exposure tour, and vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka thinks a solid defensive line would be essential to the team's success.
“Given that we played against a strong team like Australia, we produced a good show in the first three games, especially attacking-wise, but we conceded quite a few goals, which shouldn't be happening,” said Ekka.
We are thus concentrating on strengthening our defense in the next two games and wrapping out our trip on a high by winning the remaining games.
In all three games, the Indian side had incredible offensive ability, but they had trouble preventing goals against Australia.
The 28-year-old said, “If we make sure we don't give up goals cheaply, it will assist our front line put pressure on opponents by attacking freely, which in turn would boost our chances of winning games not just in this tour but also in our next competitions.
The milestone of playing 250 international matches was recently attained by Ekka.
In the third game, Ekka converted a penalty corner after Australia seized the lead to help India make a comeback.
“Scoring the goal felt amazing since it came at a key moment and enabled the squad to rally and win the game.
“We had a strong start to the game and even managed to control the majority of possession in the first quarter.
“However, in the second quarter, we let up a goal that placed us on the back foot. As a result, we were eager to show our grit and get the equalizer. In that regard, I consider myself fortunate to provide it for my team at the crucial moment, she said.

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