After a couple of disappointing days at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the Indian contingent, one of the pieces of good news is that the Men’s hockey team has progressed to the quarter-final round.
India is assured off a place in the next round as they will finish second behind Australia, who end their group campaign with a game against New Zealand on 29 July. It is highly unlikely that Australia will lose the top spot as they are not only in incredible form but also have a +13 goal difference, which would be quite difficult to overturn.
India’s final group match will be against hosts Japan, who are placed bottom of Pool A.
Finishing second, pits the Indian team against the third placed side in Pool B, with the first playing the fourth on either side.
From Pool B, Belgium too have qualified at the top and is followed by Netherlands and Great Britain at 2nd and 3rd place with 7 points each. Germany is currently ranked fourth, with 6 points.
All the 12 teams involved in both groups have one match to go in the first round at the Games. Canada and Japan in either group are the only ones to have not registered a win.
On Friday, 30 July, the Indian men’s team will be keeping a close eye on the Pool B games where the Netherlands take on Germany and Belgium play Great Britain.
Pool B’s last three spots for the quarter-finals could be decided on goal difference with Netherlands on +2, Great Britain on 0 and the Germans on +7.
Group B has though received a shake up with with South Africa upsetting Germany 4-3 and Great Britain holding Netherlands to a 2-2 draw.
If Netherlands win against Germany and Belgium too win against GB, then India will take on Great Britain.
However, if Netherlands were to be held to a draw by Germany, then GB would need a draw too to stay 3rd, but if they lose to Belgium, they would drop down to 4th and Germany would move up behind the top 2.
If Germany defeat the Netherlands and Belgium also win against GB, India will play the Dutch in the quarter-final.
But if GB cause an upset and defeat Belgium then Netherlands would be pushed down to third as long as they avoid defeat against Germany, who will need to win to move to third.
Over in the women’s draw, India have lost their first three games and will play Ireland on Friday morning, who are fourth above them in Pool A. Rani Rampal and co desperately need a win before their final game against South Africa, who are sixth in Pool A currently. All 12 teams have played 3 games each.
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