Odisha Hockey World Cup: Do-Or-Die Match For India At Kalinga Stadium Today
Bhubaneswar: With the quarterfinal spot at stake, India will take on New Zealand in the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 crossover match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. The match is scheduled to start at 7 pm.
England had sealed the quarter-final berth from Pool D on the back of a better goal difference after Harmanpreet Singh-led India failed to score the required seven-goal margin with six field goals, or victory by eight goals against Wales on January 19. Both teams finished on 7 points, but England had a far better goal difference (+9) compared to India’s +4.
New Zealand had finished third in Pool C and are much lower than India in the world rankings. In FIH Pro League matches played in Kalinga Stadium in October 2022, India defeated New Zealand 4-3 and 7-4. In the first match, India was trailing 1-3 but made a strong comeback to win the match with Mandeep Singh scoring a brace.
However, India will be without in-form midfielder Hardik Singh, who was ruled out for the rest of the hockey World Cup due to a hamstring injury. He has been replaced by Raj Kumar Pal, who scored in the last match between the two sides. All eyes will be on mid-fielders Shamsher Singh and Akashdeep Singh, the goal-scorers in the previous match.
The winner of this match will play defending champions Belgium in the quarterfinal at Kalinga Stadium on January 24.