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Hockey World Cup 2018: India and Belgium in race to secure direct quarterfinal spot 

ANALYST
Feature
1.92K   //    06 Dec 2018, 09:19 IST

India have four points from their first two group matches
India have four points from their first two group matches

The 14th edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup is taking Bhubaneswar by storm. In these last eight days, the Kalinga Stadium has seen all the top teams in the world fight against one another in a bid to become the World Champions.

In this edition of the tournament, there are 16 participating nations. They have been divided into 4 pools, with each consisting of 4 teams. As of 5th December, two rounds of group games are over. With the final round of group games coming up, let us look at where the teams stand at present.


Pool A

1) Argentina - Played: 2 Won: 2 Drawn: 0 Lost: 0 Points: 6 Goal Difference: +4

2) New Zealand - Played: 2 Won: 1 Drawn: 0 Lost: 1 Points: 3 Goal Difference: -2

3) Spain - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -1

4) France - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -1

Pool B

1) Australia - Played: 2 Won: 2 Drawn: 0 Lost: 0 Points: 6 Goal Difference: +4

2) China - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 2 Lost: 0 Points: 2 Goal Difference: 0

3) Ireland - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -1

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4) England - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -3

Pool C

1) India - Played: 2 Won: 1 Drawn: 1 Lost: 0 Points: 4 Goal Difference: +5

2) Belgium - Played: 2 Won: 1 Drawn: 1 Lost: 0 Points: 4 Goal Difference: +1

3) Canada - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -1

4) South Africa - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -5

Pool D

1) Germany - Played: 2 Won: 2 Drawn: 0 Lost: 0 Points: 6 Goal Difference: +4

2) Netherlands - Played: 2 Won: 1 Drawn: 0 Lost: 1 Points: 3 Goal Difference: +4

3) Pakistan - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -1

4) Malaysia - Played: 2 Won: 0 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1 Points: 1 Goal Difference: -7


Probable Table Toppers


Defending Champions Australia are unassailable at the top of Pool B
Defending Champions Australia are unassailable at the top of Pool B

As per the new format of the tournament, after the group stage, the team which tops each pool, will directly qualify for the quarterfinals. The team which is at the last position, gets eliminated. The second and third teams from each pool will enter the crossovers. In the crossovers, these eight teams will play a knockout game, and the 4 winners will reach the quarterfinals.

In this segment, we try and pick the probable toppers of the four pools, who will directly reach the last eight.

In Pool A, Olympic champions Argentina, look almost certain, to finish at the top and reach the last eight directly. In order to ensure their place at the top, they require just a draw against minnows, France, in their last game. If New Zealand fails to win against Spain by a big margin, then Argentina will remain at the top,even if they lose against France.

In Pool B, World Number 1, Australia has sealed the top spot in the pool, with two wins in two matches, against Ireland and England.

In Pool C, hosts India is at the top with 4 points from two games. Olympic Runners-up Belgium is also at four points, but India is ahead because of better goal difference. In the last group match, if both India and Belgium win against Canada and South Africa, respectively, then whoever ends up with a better goal difference, will end at the top of the group. Although theoretically, all four teams can reach the top, but realistically India is the favourite to do so, with a very good goal difference.

In Pool D, World Number 6, Germany has produced two brilliant performances against Pakistan and Netherlands, in their first two matches. If they do not falter in their final group match, against Malaysia, then the Germans will top the group and reach the last eight. Netherlands also have a slim chance of topping the group. But for them to do so, Germany has to lose to Malaysia and they have to beat Pakistan.

Follow Sportskeeda for all the latest Hockey World Cup Points table, schedule, stats & previews

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ANALYST
Civil engineer by profession and an ardent sports enthusiast. Olympic sports like shooting, archery, table tennis hockey ,weightlifting, athletics, wrestling, gymnastics, badminton etc where the unsung heroes of India exist, is what I follow. Their success makes me proud and their stories is what I want to bring in front of all.
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