Women's FIH Series Finals: Semifinal - India vs Chile preview, prediction, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
The moment of reckoning has arrived for Sjoerd Marijne and the Indian girls as they attempt to get past an in-form Chilean side who have been on a roll at Hiroshima thus far.
A win in the semifinals of the FIH Series Finals will get the Golden Girls into the Olympic qualifiers - and while the Indians will start as favourites, Rani Rampal and co. have a match on their hands given what has transpired in Pool B and the crossovers.
Chile disposed of a gritty Uruguayan side by a 5-2 margin in Thursday's crossover, but what will worry the Indians is the manner in which the South American girls outmanoeuvred a higher-ranked Japanese team in the pool stage.
It was the loss to Japan in the Jakarta final last year that prevented the Indians from booking a direct ticket to Tokyo, and any side that is capable of beating the Asian Games champions can pose quite a few problems for Rani Rampal and co.
Aided by a late penalty stroke and a last-minute goal, the Chileans beat Japan by a 3-1 margin last Sunday and will fancy their chances against Sjoerd Marijne's side who they lost to in a shootout a couple of years ago.
In the final of the Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver, the Indians were held to a 1-1 draw by Chile in regulation time, before Savita Punia showed her class in the shootout which Marijne's team won by a 3-1 margin.
Both sides have moved up the rankings ladder by three slots since the HWL 2 clash in April 2017, and the Chileans are now ranked sixteenth while the Indians eves occupy the ninth spot.
The Indians have converted just 9 of the 34 PCs that they have earned thus far and star drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur will be aiming to regain her best form after scoring 4 goals against Fiji on Tuesday.
The experienced Indian defensive line-up will have a task on their hands given the speed of the opposition strikers, but if the World Cup quarterfinalists play to their potential, they should emerge victorious by a comfortable margin.
Here is all you need to know about how the stats stack up between the two sides:
Head-to-head since 2013:
Total Matches: 4 (India 3, Chile 0, Draw 1)
Total Goals: (India 6, Chile 4)
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Event: Women's FIH Series Finals 2019
Venue: Hiroshima, Japan
Date: 22 June 2019
Time: 12:15 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: No Telecast in India
Live Streaming: FIH Live
Live Updates: Sportskeeda
A riveting encounter is on the cards as the South Americans will not look to hold back against their more fancied rivals, while Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne is aiming to up the ante after conducting a speed-focused training session ahead of a contest that the Indians simply cannot afford to lose.