Hockey WC: IND vs NZ
Hockey WC: India is set to take on New Zealand in the upcoming crossover tie at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneshwar-Roukela today. This is a do-or-die situation for both teams as it will be a fight for the quarterfinal position in Hockey WC.
The Indian team has finished second in pool D, behind England on goal difference, an unbeaten India is optimistic ahead of the crucial match, which yet again promises to be a house-full affair with tickets for the match sold out.
Head Coach Graham Reid’s Statements
While speaking to the media, chief coach Graham Reid said, “We have played them earlier (during the FIH Hockey Pro League), we need to tighten our defense but it’s more set now compared to Pro League. I expect a stronger defensive performance tomorrow.”
“They (New Zealand) have nothing to lose. The pressure is on us but I’ve said this before that if we play well and execute our chances we can beat any team,” he added.
Team India in Trouble
On Saturday, midfielder Hardik Singh failed to recover from his injury and has been ruled out from the tournament. The shocking announcement has been a big blow for the Indian team before the cross-over match against New Zealand on Sunday.
The management has replaced the injured midfielder with Raj Kumar Pal as his replacement in the Indian squad. The player suffered from a hamstring injury which results in a great loss to the Indian team. Also, the player underwent an MRI last Sunday.
Hardik was India’s best player in their two matches against Spain and England however pulled his hamstring in the fourth quarter of India’s 0-0 draw against England.
The head coach, Graham Reid said, “Overnight we had to make the difficult decision of replacing Hardik Singh in the Indian Team for Sunday’s match vs New Zealand and the subsequent World Cup matches.”