India are set to face Netherlands in a crucial Hockey World League (HWL) final encounter on Monday in Raipur with the home team having lost to Argentina and drawn against Germany in the first two matches of the competition so far.
The Indian players looked better against Germany as compared to the HWL opener in Friday against Argentina. India are aware of the tough task when they face Netherlands, who are the defending champions as well.
India could have defeated Germany in their second game had they converted their chances. India coach, Roelant Oltmans, wants India to play on a similar level against Netherlands as well.
"Against Germany, we played a very good match. It was a great game. We should have scored two more at least but we have got to keep playing with that intensity. We just have to take it match by match," The Times of India quoted OItmans as saying.
It is time for the India forwards such as Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and SV Sunil to fire on all cylinders against Netherlands. If the trio gets going, India, who will be egged on by the home crowd, can win their first match of the HWL Final. Oltams wants his strikers to score goals against Netherlands.
"We have been training hard and have been trying a lot of things. I would want my team to score at least three goals every match. Hopefully tomorrow (Monday) they can do that against the Netherlands. Probably we have been saving a couple for the Dutch and hopefully they are not looking around," added Oltmans.
It is not going to be easy against Netherlands for they are one of the strongest teams in the world, apart from being one of the title favourites. Netherlands, who also drew against Germany in their first match, defeated Argentina, lies on top of Group B with four points. Another victory for Netherlands will see them finish top of the group and most importantly face the weakest team in the other group in the quarter final.
With players such as Robert van der Horst, Jeroen Hertzberger and Billy Bakker amongst others in their ranks, India have a tough job in their hands on Monday.
India currently lie in second last position in Group B with one point from two matches. Though, all teams in the group will qualify for the quarter finals irrespective of the position they finish, India have to finish higher in the table to avoid the best team of the other pool, which consists of Australia, Great Britain, Belgium and Canada.
Where to watch live
India vs Netherlands Hockey World League Final live match is scheduled for 6:30 local time (1pm GMT) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 1/HD and starsports.com.
UK viewers have the luxury of watching the India vs Netherlands live on BT Sport with live streaming option on Watch BT Sport.
Australia and the US viewers can watch the India vs Netherlands live on Fox Sports and Willow Tv respectively.