Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne will hope to start his second stint with the Indian women's hockey team on a positive note when the defending champions open their campaign against a tough Japanese side at the 5th Women's Asian Champions Trophy here on Sunday.
Marijne started his stint with Indian hockey when he took charge of the women's team in 2016. He was then shifted to the men's squad last year for a period of eight months before going back to the women's team earlier this month.
India had lost 0-2 to Japan in last year's Hockey World League Round Three in July but avenged that loss in the Asia Cup where they defeated Japan, who were the defending champions and hosts.
India can take heart from their 6-0 win against Malaysia in the warm-up match on Friday. The team, according to Sunita is high on confidence after doing well against higher ranked teams at the recent XXI Commonwealth Games.
"We want to make a good start to the tournament and the team is confident of it. We no longer go into tournaments as the underdogs. We have a winning mentality now and want to take it match-by-match here. We had a good warm-up match against Malaysia. It was for three quarters and the team played to structure. We hope to carry the same consistency into our first game on Sunday," Sunita asserted.
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