Women's World Cup Hockey: It is do or die for India as they take on Spain in a crossover match
New Delhi, July 9, 2022
It is a do-or-die scenario for India as they face Spain in the Women’s Hockey World Cup crossover match for a place in the quarter-final on Sunday in Terrassa, Spain.
India finished third in Pool B, after playing out draws against England (1-1) and China (1-1) before going down 3-4 to New Zealand in the pool stage of the tournament.
"Spain are a very good team and they are playing at their home so it will be a challenging match. However, we have played against them in the Pro League this year, so we are quite familiar with how they have been playing in recent times," captain and goalkeeper Savita said.
"But, the focus tomorrow will be on ourselves, on how we execute our plans. We will have to play our A-game against them for sure."
Talking to Hockey India, the captain reflected on the team's campaign so far saying, "We knew the pool matches were going to be really tough. We fought hard and never gave up, but it's just that the results haven't been in our favour."
"We should quickly put it behind us, and focus on what's next. We are still in contention and will give our everything to qualify for the quarter-finals."
Vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka stressed on the need to make further improvements. "I think we could have played a lot better in the three matches we played. We created many chances in the pool stage, especially in the last game, but our conversion was not up to the mark.
"So, we certainly have to improve on our conversion, we have to be more clinical. At the end, it's all about converting those opportunities," she said.
Ekka said the team will go into the game without putting too much pressure and their focus will be on playing good hockey.
"We have got a great opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals and carry forward the momentum from there. However, we will go into the game without putting too much pressure. We just need to play to our strengths and just focus on playing good hockey because eventually, that will help us get the desired results," she added.
Co-host Spain registered two wins and a loss in the pool stage. They started their campaign with a 4-1 win against Canada but lost 1-4 to Argentina in their second match. However, they bounced back with a 4-1 victory over Korea to finish second in Pool C.
The last time when India and Spain faced each other was during the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22, where both teams shared the honours.
India won the first match 2-1, while Spain responded with a 4-3 win in the second leg of the double-header held in Bhubaneswar, earlier this year.