Hockey World Cup 2018: Know everything about India vs Canada
India and Canada hockey men's team will lock horns in a Pool C match of the 2018 Hockey World Cup, at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday, December 8. India have made a strong start to the elite 16-nation tournament and lead their group. In their first match, India thrashed South Africa 5-0. Then they drew 2-2 against Belgium. Here is all you need to know.
India enter the match as favorites
World number 5 India have four points from two games. A win on Saturday, will help India book a direct entry to the quarters of the tournament. Canada are third in Pool C and have just one point from two matches. India will be going into the tie as favorites, but they will be tested by the Canadians. Therefore, focus should be on qualification.
How does the berth for quarter-finals work?
Finishing as group leaders mean that a team will gain a direct spot in the quarters. A team that will finish 2nd or 3rd, will be playing cross-over matches against opponents who face the same fate in their respective pools. So four teams will qualify directly for the quarters and the other four sides will fight via cross-over matches.
India will be relying on their attackers
The Indian hockey team enjoys a superior head-to-head record against Canada. Since 2013, the two sides have played five matches and India have pocketed three. They have lost one and drawn the other. So the prime focus of the battle will be the Indian forward line versus the Canadian defense. India will be wanting to score early on and maintain pressure.
Canada can give India problems aplenty
India have an issue of losing their shape in defense in the latter stages of the game. The 2-2 draw against Belgium highlighted the problem yet again. Canada know that they will be in the game if they keep a calm head. In last year's Hockey World League Semi-Finals, India were beaten 2-3 by Canada. In 2016 Olympics, India were held to a draw.
When and where to watch the match?
The India vs Canada 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).