The final four of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 will see Olympic champions Argentina facing host nation India while Germany and Australia will also go head-to-head following the completion of the event quarter-finals in Bhubaneswar.
“It is an honour to be a part of this team and to play 200 games in this shirt, representing Argentina, is like a dream”, said influential attacker Vila after the match, before looking ahead to the semi-final clash against home favourites India.
“It is going to be tough. We watched India’s match (against Belgium) yesterday and they go really direct to goal, they want to score every time. We need to be smart to their counters, and we have to use our penalty corner more, which could be the key.”
While Germany might have won the shootout against Netherlands to enter the semi-final of the Hockey World League Final but both their captain and coach have admitted they did not play their best game tonight.
“We didn’t play our best hockey – not as good as against the Indians,” Germany coach Stefan Kermas said. “The mixture between strategical building up and the running up to the opponent’s D wasn’t good. We have to improve for the semis. Australia are more physical than the Dutch and if we are losing too many balls like today in the offensive area then we will get counterattacked.”
In the first semi-final, host India lock horns with Olympic champion Argentina after Netherlands face England in losing quarterfinalists match on Friday. Then on Saturday, Germany take on Australia in the second semi-final after losing quarterfinalists contest between Belgium and Spain.
Upcoming fixtures (All times Indian Standard Time – UTC +5.30)
Friday 8th December 2017
17:15: 7-8 – England v Netherlands
19:30: Semi-Final – India v Argentina
Saturday 9th December 2017
17:15: 5-6 – Belgium v Spain
19:30: Semi-Final – Australia v Germany
Sunday 10th December 2017
17:15: Bronze medal match