South Africa take on Belgium in a must win match at the Odisha Mens Hockey World Cup 2018. The South African side need to win today to ensure safe passage through to the second round.
Entering the game, South Africa sit last in Pool B. India top the pool with four points from two games ahead of Olympic silver medallist Belgium (4 points) on account of a better goal difference. The Indians have a goal difference of + 5 as against Belgium’s +1. Both Canada and South Africa have one point each from two matches but Canada are placed third with a goal difference of -1 as against South Africa’s -5.
South Africa lost to India 5-0 and drew 1-1 against Canada in their earlier matches, while Belgium won 2-1 against the Canada before eking out a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Indians.
The pool winner will earn a direct ticket to the quarter finals, while the teams that finish second and third will go into the cross-over play-offs. The team that finishes fourth will be eliminated from the competition.
South Africa captain Tim Drummond said he was disappointed with the result against Canada.
“We were disappointed did not get the win against Canada after a much-improved overall team performance. We created many good scoring opportunities but unfortunately we were not clinical with our chances.” said Drummond.
Tim expects a strong challenge from the Belgians, but he feels his team are improving and will be determined to show their own qualities.
“Our game against Belgium is one which we will be coming out all guns blazing to get a result. We respect the Belgians but we are going to play with complete belief in our abilities to make sure we do our country proud! Against Belgium we will be looking to improve in both aspects. I am confident that if we execute our game plan then we will give us every chance of achieving our goals for the game.” Tim said.
South Africa men’s team Player stats:
- World Rank : 15
- Last Appearance: 2014 (11th)
- Head Coach : Mark Hopskins
- Goalkeepers : Gowan Jones and Rassie Pieterse
- Most Capped Player : Austin Smith (162)
- Youngest Player : Dayaan Cassiem (19)
- Oldest Player : Rassie Pieterse (35)
South Africa men’s team for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:
Full Squad: Gowan Jones, Rassie Pieterse,Tim Drummond, Dayaan Cassiem, Taylor Dart, Tyson Dlungwana, Jethro Eustice, Rhett Halkett, Tommy Hammond, Keenan Horne, Julian Hykes, Peabo Lembethe, Mo Mea, Bili Ntuli, Taine Paton, Richard Pautz, Austin Smith, Nick Spooner