Beating South Korea in round-robin most satisfying: Rajpal

Chandigarh: Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh on Tuesday rated his side`s victory over South Korea in the round-robin league as the most satisfying result in the Azlan Shah tournament.

India had beaten South Korea 3-2 in a round-robin league match but the two sides were declared joint winners after the summit clash was abandoned due to heavy rain.

"Beating South Korea (in round-robin) was most satisfying as they had the same squad which played in the World Cup (in New Delhi in March)," Rajpal said here after reaching home from Malaysia.

He said the team had played as a well-knit unit and that helped in defending their title.

"There was great camaraderie among players both on and off the field and this reflected in our performance. We played as a well knit unit this time concentrating just on the game," said the Chandigarh-based player.

India left out quite a few senior players for the tournament but Rajpal was happy that the new faces came up with good performances.

"We tried out new faces and some of them really excelled. Ravipal and Vikas Pillay had a great tournament and they have a bright future ahead of them," he said.

"We have to put in lot of effort before we can become world beaters again. I will only be satisfied when we perform well in tournaments like the World Cup, Olympics and the Champions Trophy. The day we do that we can really say that Indian hockey has arrived," he said.

Rajpal said the next big challenge for the team would be the Asian Games though they will play in the Commonwealth Games before that.



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