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India wait to clear the Oranje signal to decide opponent in quarter finals

Vishal Bhalla
ANALYST
2.65K   //    11 Aug 2016, 09:45 IST
Sardar Singh makes his opponents slide, in terms of position in the tournament and rankings on a whole!

High on confidence after their buoyant victory against Argentina, India now face Netherlands in the next Group B fixture. Who are the important Dutch players that India should look out for and the key duels on the pitch? Let’s take a look:

Key battles

PR Sreejesh vs Van der Weerden Mink

Sreejesh would be brimming with confidence after thwarting a series of attacks from the Argentines in the last quarter to defend his fortress. After facing Gonzalo Piellat in the previous match, it goes one notch up as India have to deal with another supreme quality drag flicker in Van der Weerden Mink.

Weerden Mink is coming strong into this match after scoring a hat-trick in the 7-0 victory against Canada in the previous match and has 6 goals in the tournament so far. Sreejeshand his defenders would have to make sure that they don’t concede a penalty corner in the first place.

PR Sreejesh in action, trying to reach the ball and block the move right at its inception.

Harmanpreet Singh vs Hertzberger Jeroen

Surender and Rupinder used their physical presence to intimidate the Argentine forward line. But the Dutch are more tactical and mere physical strength wouldn't be enough to contain them.

Harmanpreet holds the key as he would be assigned dual duties of defending and also making attacks with runs down the flanks. Hertzberger Joreon has scored in every match for the Dutch and needs to be kept on tight vigil.

An exuberant Rupinder Pal Singh showing his emotions after India defeated Netherlands in what was a thriller of a match in the HWL Finals for the bronze medal in 2015.
 
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Akashdeep and SV Sunil vs Japp Stockmann

Finally, the forward line would have to step up and score and get the better of the tall Dutch goalkeeper. Tall doesn’t seem an aberration, as every other Dutch is tall! The only missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle is the inability of our forward line to score a single goal.

Moreover, India have just managed one solitary field goal, that too from an unlikely Kothajit Singh.

Midfield battle of Manpreet and co. vs  Van Ass Severiano and co.

Manpreet and company were solid against Argentina and this time, he would come up against Van Ass Severiano among other midfielders. Severiano, who has 2 goals to his name, is a livewire who is known for his good range of passing and link up play. Moreover, he has the ability to also score goals.

Manpreet doing the balancing act for his team

 


Predictions:

It is going to be a goal fest with India coming out top with a scoreline of 3-1 or 5-2.


Importance of this match

Although India have already qualified for the quarter-finals, this match holds significance as it will decide their opponents. Let's look at the table and analyze the different combinations. The current standings are as below.


Group A

Pos

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Qualification

1

Belgium (A)

3

3

0

0

17

1

+16

9

Quarter-finals

2

Spain (A)

3

3

0

0

11

2

+9

9

3

Great Britain

3

1

1

1

12

7

+5

4

4

Australia

3

1

0

2

2

3

−1

3

5

New Zealand

3

0

1

2

5

7

−2

1

 

6

Brazil (H)

3

0

0

3

1

28

−27

0

Group B

Pos

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Qualification

1

Germany (A)

3

3

0

0

11

5

+6

9

Quarter-finals

2

Netherlands (A)

3

2

1

0

15

3

+12

7

3

India

3

2

0

1

6

5

+1

6

4

Argentina

3

1

1

1

7

6

+1

4

5

Ireland

3

0

0

3

4

11

−7

0

 

6

Canada

3

0

0

3

3

16

−13

0


Scenario 1: India win

It would mean India will at least have 2nd position in the group. Moreover, they can improve to being the first placed team if Germany and Netherlands draw their last match.

Scenario 2: India draw

India will manage to leapfrog the Dutch if they can improve their goal difference by scoring many goals against Canada, who have been the weakest team in the group and lost all matches.

Scenario 3. India lose

If India lose and depending upon the other results in the group, they would hold their position or even drop to 4th place. In that case, India would then face the team positioned 2 or 1 respectively.


Prediction for the opponent quarter finals match: India will be at number 2 in their group whereas Australia will be third in Group A. We would have a repeat of the Champions Trophy match. With revenge on  their minds, India would be raring to go to heal their bruises and wounds from last time round.

 
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