Sunday, March 26, 2023

FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 | India goals to kick-start World Cup with a win towards Spain

Area of motion: A chicken’s eye view of the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. Photograph courtesy: Odisha Sports activities Division

When India regained an Olympic medal after 41 years in 2021 Tokyo, it re-ignited hopes {that a} medal on the World Cup too was not unimaginable. Loads has modified since then for and with the workforce — by way of personnel in addition to outcomes.

Runner-up on the 2022 Commonwealth Video games sounds good till one seems to be on the hammering it acquired from Australia within the ultimate. A 3rd-place end on the Asian Champions Trophy and the Asia Cup with largely younger and inexperienced squads meant whereas the bench was examined sufficient, the senior gamers needed to make do with the handful of Professional League video games for match apply. The final outing for the facet, a 4-1 collection loss to Australia, doesn’t assist.

Model new stadium

None of it will matter when India strains up towards Spain for its opening World Cup recreation on the model new, humongous, still-getting-finishing touches Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium right here on Friday. Just like the venue, the workforce can be raring for a recent begin at a contest that has not been a cheerful searching floor for India for greater than 4 a long time.

It gained’t be a straightforward outing, although. Spain is among the youngest sides within the fray however with an astute coach seeking to construct a workforce for the long run. India received the higher of them on the final main outing between the 2 sides on the Tokyo Olympics however since then, the groups have shared the honours within the final 4 Professional League video games — all in Bhubaneswar. For a workforce that historically tends to start out sluggish and progressively choose up momentum, India must hearth from the start right here.

In captain Alvaro Iglesias, Enrique Gonzalez, and Argentine import Joaquin Menini, Spain has the expertise and in Max Caldas, a coach who is aware of India nicely — he was with the Dutch final time round, ending India’s marketing campaign within the quarterfinals and reaching the ultimate. In his restricted time with Spain to this point, he has proven he’s not afraid to experiment with methods.

“It is a bit difficult to tell how much influence past results have but I think it gives us confidence and we know we can compete against these teams. For most of our players it is the first World Cup and that can be a different feeling from the Pro League but we are confident of ourselves, we trust and believe what we do,” Caldas admitted.

Additionally Learn | Hockey World Cup 2023: Full squad record of all 16 groups

Hoping to construct on classes learnt

On its half, the host can be hoping to construct on the teachings learnt in Australia. Each division of the workforce has a mixture of youth and expertise and the senior execs together with Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh can be anticipated to information the kids previous the big-event jitters. The most important benefit for India, after all, can be the gang. The stadium is sold-out and the Odisha public has all the time been vocal in its help.

Come Friday, India can be hoping to provide them sufficient to cheer.

On Friday: England vs. Wales (5 pm), India vs. Spain (7 pm).

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