India should not allow space, focus on possession against Netherlands: Ignace Tirkey

Bhubaneswar: With India set for a mouth-watering quarter final clash against World Number-4 team, the Netherlands on December 13 in the on-going Men’s Hockey World Cup, former Indian captain, Ignace Tirkey today suggested the Men in Blue to play tight and not to relinquish possession of the ball.

In an interview to OTV, Tirkey who is best remembered for his famous goal in the dying minutes of 2003 Asia Cup final against Pakistan said “Indian team is playing well and had also beaten the Dutch side during World Hockey League finals last year. I would suggest team India to play fearless game, but the defence should not allow space and possession to the visitors.”

“During the crossover match against Canada, I saw Netherlands play the last two quarters quite well and India must be prepared well to tackle their defence with good counter attack,” Tirkey said.

He further added, “I will also urge the team to make the most of home support and I am hopeful that the young brigade will come out in flying colours.”

India, which topped group C after two wins and a draw, secured automatic qualification to the quarter finals. Netherlands thumped Canada 5-0 in a crossover match after securing second place in Group D yesterday.

The winner of the quarter final match will secure a semi-final berth against either Argentina or England.