Hockey World Cup 2018: Know everything about India vs Belgium
Tonight, India and Belgium hockey men's team will lock horns in a Pool C match of the 2018 Hockey World Cup, at the Kalinga Stadium. India have made a strong start to the elite 16-nation tournament. In their first match, India thrashed South Africa 5-0. But now it is a battle against world number three. Here is all you need to know.
India will want to deliver consistent performance
The hosts were terrific in their attacking display against South Africa and will look to continue in the same vein. If India need to go far in this tournament, they would have to deliver consistent performances. Since 2013, India have faced Belgium 19 times and they have won five and lost on 13 occasions. One ended in a draw. India need to play strongly.
'If you enjoy that pressure you will succeed'
In his press conference, India coach Harendra Singh said that the team which will enjoy the pressure better will go on to win the match. He said, "I don't feel any pressure. If you enjoy that pressure you will succeed. What I feel is that it's a pre-quarterfinal match and if we want to directly go into the quarterfinals we will have to win."
India coach wary of the threat Belgium will possess
"If we look at their graph in the last 4-5 years, Belgium is a good team. We have to play according to the situation. We need to take care about the vertical hockey Belgium plays," said the Indian coach.
India will be counting on their attacking display
The hosts will be looking up to star forwards, Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay, as they impressed against South Africa. Belgium's defense will be tough to breach, but India will have to count on their attacking play. In their last meeting against Belgium, the Indian side had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Belgium keen to beat India and stay atop
Belgium have seen a steady rise in world hockey and are the team to beat, this time around. They ended as 2016 Olympic silver medalists. Belgium are seeking their maiden mega title and will be keen to create difficulties for India. Belgium coach Shane McLoed stated that the game against India is a must-win scenario as they want to top the group.
When and where to watch the match?
The India vs Belgium Pool C match will be played at the Kalinga Stadium. The match is set to start at 7 PM and will be telecast live on the Star Sports network. The battle can be streamed live on Hotstar and also on the official YouTube channel of International Hockey Federation (IHF).