The Netherlands will face underdogs New Zealand in the summit clash of the Hero Hockey World league Final tomorrow after the two teams eked out hard-fought wins over world champions Australia and England at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, here on Saturday.
Elated after scripting a memorable 5-4 come-from-behind win over world`s number one team Germany in the 5-8th place classification tie in Hero Hockey World League Final, India captain Sardar Singh said his team needed this "big win" to raise its confidence level.
Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra on Friday launched a scathing attack on former head coach Ric Charlesworth, calling him a "loose cannon" after the Australian criticised the poor turnout of spectators for the Hockey World League Final here.
Out of title race after a crushing defeat at the hands of Australia, hosts India would be hoping for a miracle when they take on Olympic champions Germany in the fifth-eighth place play-off game of the Hero Hockey World League Final, here tomorrow.
Netherlands scored two first half goals to shut the door on Olympic champions Germany with a fighting 2-1 win and enter the semifinals of the Hero Hockey World League Final at the Major Dhyan Chnd National Stadium, here today.
An impressive England continued their unbeaten run and defeated Belgium by a solitary goal in a hard-fought match to become the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the Hero Hockey World League Final, here today.
The morale-boosting draw against Olympic champions Germany has done a world of good to their confidence as hosts India face a Herculean task when they square off with World Champions Australia in the quarterfinals of the Hero Hockey World League Final, here on Tuesday.
He might have had encouraging words for his wards irrespective of defeat in their tournament opener, but India`s chief coach Terry Walsh was livid with the home team`s performance against New Zealand today and termed the showing as "unacceptable".
Scam-tainted Lalit Bhanot`s presence as the chief guest during the India-New Zealand match of the Hero Hockey World League Final here today raised eyebrows, especially after the suspended IOA secretary-general is facing serious corruption charges related to the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
They are placed in a tough Pool B in the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) Final, but London Olympics silver medalist Netherlands are all geared up for the tournament with head coach Paul Vanass insisting that his wards are prepared for the upcoming challenge.
The Hero Hockey World League Final is Terry Walsh`s first assignment with India, but the newly-appointed chief coach of the senior men`s team has reposed faith in his wards to put up a good show in the elite eight-nation event to be held here from January 10-18.