CHENNAI: A good pre-season boosts the confidence of a team, be it any sport. The 90th MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup is more like a preparation for the long season ahead, according to many players. As IOCL registered a comfortable 4-2 victory over ONGC in the semifinals here at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadiumon Saturday, skipper Deepak Thakur opined the same.
“Winning is always a good feeling. Being the defending champions, I’m delighted. Being the start of the season, it boosts our morale and increases confidence. It also motivates us to perform better in other tournaments,” said the 35-year-old.
“We are serious about this tournament, because most players will go away once the season starts. This is the best time for us to gel the young ones with seniors,” he added.
Though IOCL dominated from the start, the defence, that includes the likes of Indian international VR Raghunath, seemed a bit sloppy at times. Both goals conceded were from counter-attacks. “ONGC is one of the best teams, and they are playing like Europeans. Passing down the line and scoring from the wings is their tecnique. We were not able to maintain defensive discipline throughout the match. If you notice, both goals were conceded from the flanks,” Deepak told Express after the game.