Hangzhou, 29th September 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has displayed their top form at the ongoing 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, picking up three wins in three games so far. While India began the contest with a 16-0 win over Uzbekistan in the Pool A match, the side led by Captain Harmanpreet Singh followed it up with a 16-1 win over Singapore. On Thursday, India faced their toughest challenge of the campaign against the 2018 Asian Games Gold medalist Japan and came out of the contest with a 4-2 win to keep their winning streak intact.
~India will take on neighbouring rivals Pakistan on Saturday~
Now, on Saturday, India will take on their neighbouring rivals Pakistan in a crucial contest and will hope to add another win to their record.
Pakistan Team, like India, is also having a good run, having won all three games they have played so far. Pakistan began their campaign with an 11-0 win over Singapore and then went on to record a 5-2 win over Bangladesh and an 18-2 win over Uzbekistan.
Speaking about the upcoming game, Indian Men’s Hockey Team Captain Harmanpreet Singh stated that the team has learned valuable lessons from their matches thus far in the tournament, which will come in handy against Pakistan.
“It has been a good start for us in the tournament so far, but the most important aspect so far is that with each opponent, we have learnt new things about our gameplay and about how we can improve our game. We have remained unbeaten, which gives us confidence going into our game against Pakistan that we are in good shape and rhythm, and now it is just about maintaining the momentum and implementing the lessons that we are learning every day,” he said.
Pakistan have also been unbeaten so far in the tournament, beating Singapore 11-0 in their first match, and then picking up a 5-2 win over Bangladesh in their second game. Pakistan beat Uzbekistan 18-2 in their third Pool A game on Thursday.
Harmanpreet Singh also opened up on the mood in the dressing room ahead of the Pakistan clash and said that the team is eager to continue their winning run in Hangzhou.
“There is always excitement in the dressing room whenever there is a match against Pakistan. The fans are always the loudest and make their voices heard. Pakistan have a solid team that has been doing really well, so we know we also have to be at our best against them to get a win. We are motivated by the results so far and we are eager to maintain our winning streak in the tournament,” he said.
The two teams last met in the Pool match at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 in August, where India won the match 4-0. Since 2013, India and Pakistan have faced each other 24 times, in which India have won 16 times, while Pakistan have won 5 times, and three games ended in a draw.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team Chief Coach Craig Fulton said, “We have shown some tremendous progress in the first three games and we are happy with our performance. Of course, there are always some improvements that can be made, and it will be critical that we work on those ahead of the match against a strong team like Pakistan, which is also having a good tournament. We know what our goals are and are confident that we will achieve them on Saturday.”
Indian Men’s Hockey Team will next face off against Pakistan on Saturday, 30th September 2023 at 1815 hrs IST.
Schedule of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team:
On 30th September 2023, India Vs Pakistan at 1815 hrs IST
On 2nd October 2023, India Vs Bangladesh at 1315 hrs IST
The matches will be broadcast live on Sony Sports Network and live stream on Sony Liv.
HOCKEY INDIA TEAM PARTNERS
Odisha (India’s Best Kept Secret) – Major Team Partner
Sports Authority of India (SAI)
About HOCKEY INDIA
HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the governing body with exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women’s hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, trains players at sub-junior, junior and senior level. The governing body engages in Coaching the coaches with International Standard certification programs, educates and equips technical officials and umpires to find a foothold in international arena, provides world-class infrastructure and International exposure for the players besides regular international competition. Hockey India has also pioneered in bringing top International hockey events to India such as the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2018, FIH Champions Trophy in 2014, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016 and 2021, FIH Hockey World League Final in 2017. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India brought the Indian Men’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world. Hockey India is also dedicated to getting the Indian Women’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world.
Odisha – the Eastern State of India – is known for its love for Hockey and over the years it has evolved to be the Global Hub of Hockey. The State successfully hosted the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, followed by the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha, FIH Olympic Qualifiers Odisha, and FIH Hockey Pro League 2020-21. Odisha has previously hosted the Champions Trophy 2014 and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. Odisha also hosted the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup in 2021.
Kalinga Lancers, the team owned by the State, were the winners in the Hockey India League 2017. Taking a step further towards realising the dream of restoring the glory of Indian Hockey at the global level, the State is sponsoring the Indian Hockey Teams till 2033.
Odisha also hosted the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.