A look at India's Pool B fixtures in men's hockey at the Rio Olympics 2016
5th-ranked India will arrive at the Rio Olympics looking very much a force to reckon with.
Friday, 5 August 2016 will see the wheels of the 31st edition of the Summer Olympics set in motion at the Maracana Stadium in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. The following day i.e. 6 August, the Indian Men’s hockey team will begin their ascent towards a much-awaited reclamation of their long-lost throne in international hockey when the event is flagged off at the greatest sporting extravaganza in the world.
The twelve teams to have made the cut in hockey at Rio 2016 are Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Ireland and India. Matches of the group stage will be played from 6 to 12 August post which the knockout rounds will be contested from Sunday, 14 August with all four quarter-finals held on the same day before the semis on 16 August and the ultimate decider on 18 August.
Sharing Pool A with World Number 1 Australia are hosts Brazil, Belgium, Great Britain, New Zealand and Spain whereas the Men in Blue find themselves pitted against back-to-back defending champions from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, Germany alongside 2nd seeds Netherlands, Argentina, Canada and Ireland in Pool B.
Ranked 12th by the FIH, the Irish team will face India for the second time in as many months for their Olympic hockey opener. Although it would seem like an easy contest for the Blueshirts, they would need to be wary of slipups owing to complacency which was the root cause behind their disappointing show at the recently concluded Invitational Six Nations Tournament in Valencia.
With just a day’s gap in between, India will lock horns with the mighty Germans in their second game followed by a showdown with the Argentinians on Matchday Three. The Netherlands, who they face fourth, are another threat to their podium ambitions, India will have to capitalise on their final fixture against apparent minnows Canada in their final Pool B fixture if they are to secure a comfortable draw heading into the knockout rounds.
You can check out the schedule for India’s group matches of their hockey campaign at the Rio Olympic 2016 below: