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Coach wary of Nigeria

Hyderabad: India will leave no stones unturned to ensure a place in the semi-finals when they take on Nigeria in the Afro-Asian Games men’s hockey match on Saturday.

Despite the recent good run, India will not take the Nigerians lightly, who gave Pakistan a scare before bowing down 3-4 on Thursday. “Nigeria gave a good display. We are taking all the matches seriously and we would like to win tomorrow’s match as well,” India coach Rajinder Singh said.

India, who are the favourites to win the title, can ill afford any complacency as Nigeria will be willing going all out to be in contention for a last-four berth.

“We have some weaknesses regarding penalty-corner conversions. But the forwards compensated for that against Egypt,” Rajinder said. India thrashed Egypt 5-1 in their opening encounter.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will look to maul Egypt after an uninspiring start to their campaign.

In pool A, Ghana are unlikely to give Malaysian a good run for their money, who would be keen for their first win after holding the South Africans to a draw on Thursday.

The Korea-South Africa match is likely to become an exciting affair with both the sides in fine form.

In the women’s game, Pietie Coetzee snuffed life out of the Indians with a hattrick as the hosts suffered a 1-3 loss against South Africa in a Pool A match.

Pietie’s onslaught ensured South Africa a berth in the semi-finals while India need at least a draw against Kazakhstan for a place in the last four.

Earlier, Korea continued their winning streak thrashing Nigeria 6-0 at the Gachibowli Stadium in a Pool B match. For India Suman Bala converted a penalty in the 47th minute, but poor finishing let them down. (PTI)

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