Indian Women’s Team will play against England, New Zealand and China in the Pool B matches.
One night’s sleep is all that’s left for the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022. Hosts Spain will kick things off on 1st July in Terrassa against Canada. This will be the 15th edition of the World Cup and will be hosted in two cities – Terrassa in Spain and Amstelveen in Netherlands. Team India will be playing their pool matches on the 3rd, 5th and 7th of July in Amstelveen. India has been pooled alongside England, New Zealand and China in the group of death.
With that, let us look at five games to watch out for in the group stages.
Group A – Netherlands vs Germany
You can never complete a top-five fixture list without the Die Klassiker! Defending champions Netherlands take on their formidable neighbours on 3rd July in Amstelveen. The two teams squared off recently in the FIH Pro League and it was a thrilling weekend in Hamburg. The Oranje had to overcome a two-goal deficit in the first game to win 3-2. But they found it easier in the second winning 3-1. Tickets for the match are already sold out and we’re expecting it to be a cracker!
Group B – England vs India
Group B looks like an extremely tough one to predict with all four teams showing great progress in recent times. While England are ranked highest at 4, they faced big blows in the FIH Pro League against the big teams. Janneke Schopman’s India on the other hand were quite well drilled against the likes of Argentina and Netherlands. The Indian Eves will be seeing a lot of familiar faces from their heart-breaking loss against Great Britain in Tokyo and will be eyeing revenge this time around.
Group C – Argentina vs Spain
The Las Leonas are coming off their first Pro League title while Spain will be riding on their home support to create an upset. The two teams met earlier this year in Valencia in March. The Argentines won both the games with a score-line of 1-0 but Spain didn’t make it easy at all. It will be fun to see how much the Red Sticks have improved since then. Watch out for the Granatto sisters, Xantal Gine and Georgina Oliva. These players will be key to either team’s success.
Group D – Australia vs Belgium
The Hockeyroos and the Belgian Red Panthers are the two highest-ranked teams in this pool. While the progress of Belgium under Raoul Ehren’s guidance has been visible in the Pro League, Australia stayed at home playing games versus neighbours, New Zealand. A lot will be expected from the Hockeyroos this time around after they failed to make the podium of the last Olympic Games and World Cup. The Aussies have some scores to settle but Belgium’s Ambre Ballenghien won’t make it easy for them.
Group B – India vs New Zealand
Like the Hockeyroos, New Zealand also pulled out of the FIH Pro League giving India the chance to make its debut in the competition. The Indians haven’t beaten New Zealand in their last ten meetings with their last test series going to the Vantage Black Sticks 5-0 back in 2017. Ranked 6 and 9 in the world respectively, both teams will want to win this as they look to clinch the quarter-finals spot directly by topping the group.