Indian hockey team are set to take to the field against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 on Thursday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The host’s nation have had a commendable run in the tournament so far, winning all their games so far with just one draw against Belgium and finishing their group at the top spot.
The stage is now set for what is going to be a promising fixture as the World no. 5 India takes on World no. 4 Netherlands. The match is going to be a very difficult one for the men in blue but home advantage could lift their spirits and push them all the way. India’s Simranjeet Singh is the top scorer of the tournament so far and will look to add to his tally against a tough opposition at the Kalinga stadium.
Indian hockey team chief coach Harendra Singh on Wednesday said they are completely prepared to take on the Netherlands in the quarterfinal in men’s hockey world cup scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar on Thursday.
“We are prepared to solve the challenge physically and mentally. You cannot even take 25% chances in the knockout stage. You have to be prepared for the game,” Singh told reporters here.
He acknowledged that both India and the Netherlands have played a similar side, but he is looking forward to making a few adjustments before they play. With the Netherlands team saying that the crowd would put pressure on the Indian team if they fail to score, the Indian coach said the crowd would give them extra energy as they work as the 12th man.
“There is no chance that the opposition can easily be in the driving seat. The boys have tested the crowd and they know how to cope with them. The crowd have always stood with us,” he added.
Indian team captain Manpreet Singh said the team has made a lot of improvements in the 2 years leading up to the world cup and will target complete control when they step on the turf for the quarterfinal.
“Indian team have improved a lot in last two years. We have improved our game. Since it is a knockout match, we will focus on creating chances to score in the next game,a said Manpreet.
Squads of the Indian and Netherland hockey teams:
India: Manpreet Singh (C), PR Sreejesh (GK), Krishna Bahadur Pathak (GK), Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Sumit, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Simranjeet Singh.
Netherlands: Robbert Kemperman, Sander Baart, Mirco Pruyser, Glenn Schuurman, Sam van der Ven, Valentin Verga, Bob de Voogd, Mink van der Weerden, Sander de Wijn, Floris Wortelboer, Billy Bakker, Lars Balk, Pirmin Blaak, Seve van Ass, Thierry Brinkman, Thijs van Dam, Jonas de Geus and Jeroen Hertzberger.