The World Hockey Federation has now published the fixtures and group assignments for the two U21 World Championships at the end of the year in South Africa (women) and India (men).
The juniors men’s team will meet in Bhubaneswar in the preliminary round Group D on 24 November at 10 am (German time) against Pakistan, on 26 November at 15 o’clock against Argentina and close the first round on 28 November at 15 o’clock against Egypt from. Only in first or second place you qualify for the quarter-finals in which one of the first two from group C with the Netherlands, Spain, Korea and the USA would wait.
“That’s exactly why you go to a World Cup because you can play against opponents from Africa, South America and Asia,” said national coach Johannes Schmitz. “That is why we are very satisfied with our group. But that also means that we have to prepare well because we really hardly know these opponents.”
Somewhat surprisingly, England withdrew its junior team from this World Cup, at which Canada and the USA are already replacing Australia and New Zealand, which are not competing due to corona travel restrictions. Poland has been given a starting place for this.
The DHB juniors start on December 5th at 4 p.m. (German time) in Potchefstrom, also in group D against the USA. On December 7th at 2:30 p.m. Spain will be the opponents, before South Africa will be the last group opponent on December 9th at 4:00 p.m. Here, too, only the first and second go into the quarter-finals, where it would cross against the first two in Group C with Argentina, India, Japan and Russia.
“There is nothing surprising for us now,” said national coach Akim Bouchouchi. “We had expected that based on the world rankings. Everyone will have the same major problem – namely assessing where the opponent is currently. So we will look very closely at ourselves and see that we have done our homework beforehand.”
In addition to the Netherlands and Belgium, which Bouchouchi expects as medal candidates, the junior national coach also expects defending champion Argentina, although they could not qualify at the Pan Am Games because they missed a number of players because of Corona, but only because of them Cancellations from Australia and New Zealand with a wild card slipped into the tournament.