Hockey World League Final: India Face Germany in Last Pool Game
Inconsistency has been plaguing Indian hockey for quite some time and the hosts need to address it before squaring off against Rio Olympic bronze medallist Germany in their final pool match of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final, in Bhubaneswar on 4 December.
Much was expected from the Indian team after the 1-1 draw against Australia in their opening match, but they produced a below-par performance to lose 2-3 against England, a side which is one rung below them at world rankings at 7.
With one draw and one loss, India is currently at the bottom in Pool B with one point. The pool is led by Germany who have four points from one win and a draw.
Even though the pool matches are there only to decide who plays whom in the quarter-finals, the Indians will be desperate to prove their critics wrong on Monday.
Placed at No 6, India is just a spot below Germany in the world rankings and Sjoerd Marijne’s men will have to curb their inconsistency if they have to outmanoeuvre the European powerhouse.
After a controlled game against Australia, India put up a poor show against England on 2 December.
While England dominating the proceedings for major part of the game, the Indians were found wanting in all departments of the game. The strikers were guilty of frequent miss-trapping and the defence was at its sloppiest best to say the least.
Sloppy defending handed England's Sam Ward two goals on Saturday, 2 December, the second of which was the winner late into the match.
“That are part of the game and you want to avoid it of course. Players don't do it with purpose but that cost us the game,” the coach said about the defensive blunders.
And on Monday, India cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes because if they finish at the bottom of their pool they will have to face the top team of Pool A.
Meanwhile, in the first match of Pool B on 4 December, Australia will take on England.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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