Defence main focus in next two games in Australia: Ekka

Adelaide, May 24 (PTI) The focus would be on defence and not conceding easy goals as the Indian women’s hockey team looks to bounce back and sign off with wins against Australia A in their last two games of the tour here.
The Indians have played three games against Australia, losing 2-4 and 2-3 in the first two games, respectively, and then coming from behind in the third game to ensure a 1-1 result.
In their final two games of the tour, the visitors will face Australia ‘A’ here on Thursday and Saturday.
The exposure trip is part of India’s preparation for the upcoming Asian Games and vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka believes that a strong defence line will be critical to the team’s chances.

“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,” Ekka said.
“Hence, we are focusing on improving our defending in the next two games and ending our tour on a high by winning the remaining matches.”

The Indian team demonstrated brilliant attacking prowess in all three games, but they struggled to keep Australia from scoring goals.
“Also, if we ensure that we don’t concede goals easily, it will help our forward line put pressure on opponents by attacking freely, which will ultimately increase our chances of winning games not only in this tour but also in our upcoming tournaments,” the 28-year-old added.
Ekka recently achieved the milestone of completing 250 international matches.
Ekka had aided India’s comeback in the third game, converting a penalty corner after Australia took the lead.

“It felt great to score that goal as it came at a crucial time and also helped the team make a comeback in the game.
“We started the match on a solid note and even kept most of the possession in the opening quarter to control the tempo of the match.
“However, we conceded a goal in the second quarter which put us on the back foot, following which we were desperate to display our fighting spirit and find the equaliser. So, in that sense, I feel lucky to deliver it for my team when they need it the most,” she added.