According to a report published today in NDTV Sports, the unbeaten men’s hockey team of India is looking forward to rectifying their shortcomings with the penalty corner to win against the first-time entrants Wales, in their final game of the pool on Thursday. If India beats Wales then they shall directly enter into the Quarterfinal round of the Men’s Hockey World Cup.
Team India who has remained unbeaten till now in this tournament is working over their issues with the penalty shoot before playing against Wales. Both India along with England have earned four points from the two matches they have played. But in the table right now England is a little ahead of India based on the number of goals they have scored. But India has an advantage here. They shall be able to gauge their next move by watching the match between England with Spain which is going to take place on Thursday.
If England draws or loses their game against Spain, there shall be no problem for India. All they would require is to win against Wales. Irrespective of whichever margin India may win, they shall be at the top of the pool D and automatically shall go into the quarterfinals.
By chance, England ends up defeating Spain then in that case India shall require to defeat Wales by five goals at least. Depending on the margin of goals England defeats Spain, India has to go on par with it. As both India and England have won two matches so, in case both the teams end up with the same number of wins in this pool then, the team that has scored the highest number of goals shall occupy the upper position in the rankings.
In any case, India shall not be out of the tournament. If they beat Wales, they will occupy the second position in the rankings. This is the match that India is looking into. If India ends up being in the second position of pool D then they shall play against the third-place winners of pool C during the crossover rounds. It could either be Malaysia or New Zealand.
Before drawing the game against England in a goalless match by both teams, India defeated Spain by two all. Both these matches were played in Rourkela’s Birsa Munda grounds. For the first time in this tournament, India is about to play in the Kalinga Stadium.
Every winning team from the four pools will qualify for the quarterfinals, directly. Those teams that end up being in the second and the third place shall play a crossover match. If India manages to reach the top position in their pool then they shall directly reach the quarterfinals. This would mean that India will play one game less before entering the final eight stages.
Wales has no longer any chance of progressing further in this World Cup. They shall be playing to finish on a good note while team India is eying to win the game by scoring big so that they can enter the quarterfinals directly. The head coach of team India Graham Reid has told that team India is working on its weak areas before the upcoming game.