**Bhubaneswar:** While Team India emerged victorious against South African team here last evening with a score of 5-0, little known fact is that Vice-Captain Chinglensana Singh Kangujam made his 200th international appearance for the Indian Hockey Team and completed a milestone.
In the post-match press conference, the 26-year-old midfielder from Manipur said, “Making my 200th International appearance for the Indian team gives me immense joy and satisfaction as it is something that I have always looked forward to. Representing the country for a prolonged period of time and helping in winning laurels throughout the world against the best teams is something that motivates me and I am proud to have achieved this milestone on the biggest stage that is the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. I look forward to achieving many glorious things for the nation.”
He had first made his International debut for the Senior team in 2011 when he represented the country at the Champions Challenge in South Africa. His intercepting and ability to transform defence into attacks within seconds during turnovers is one of the key aspects of his game. The 26-year-old has also been the Vice-Captain of the team in recent years, and his exploits in Midfield have led India to the Gold Medal at the Hero Asia Cup 2017, the Bronze Medal at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Bronze Medal at the 18th Asian Games 2018.
Meanwhile sharing his insights on the score of 5-0 against South Africa, Kangujam said, “We have been practicing together for many years. This win was crucial as it gave us good start. We will be watching the video of out game today and prepare accordingly for the next match against Belgium.”
Coach Harendra Singh was also happy to begin the tournament with a clean sheet. He said, “When South Africa was 2-0 down, they changed their structure to have one extra midfielder and that’s when they began to put pressure on us,” he said during the post-match press conference. “It took our players three minutes to realise it but credit to them for responding to the situation,” he added.
The coach also said that a mixture of penalty corners (PCs) and field goals ensured the win of India. He also admitted that after an impressive first half, India were a bit complacent in the third quarter, which allowed South Africa to create a few chances. “I think during third quarter somewhere we were a little bit complacent,” he said.
When questioned about changing striker Akashdeep Singh’s role to a linkman, Harendra Singh said, “Akashdeep has very good peripheral vision and so we used him little down from his usual position as linkman. He is lethal as a linkman and we have three strikers floating inside the circle.”
Meanwhile captain Manpreet Singh said, “We will have to improve on some counts. In the match against South Africa, we got so chances but missed. We will work on converting the chances into goals. Otherwise, it will be tough for us against Belgium. We will have to give less chances to Belgium in the next match and we have to focus on converting our chances into goals”.
India’s next game is against Belgium on December 2. The match is going to be a high-voltage one as Belgium also thrashed Canada by 2-1 in the opening match of Hockey World Cup.
**Also Read:** [Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup: The Lively, Fun Crowd That Cheered Team India To Smashing Victory On Day 1](https://ommcomnews.com/odisha-news/odisha-hockey-men-s-world-cup-meet-the-lively-fun-crowd-that-cheered-team-india-to-smashing-victory-on-day-1)