India need draw against Netherlands to enter Champions Trophy final
BREDA: India would look to eke out at least a draw against hosts Netherlands in their last round robin match on Saturday, a result that will be enough for the eight-time Olympic champions to grab a second consecutive final spot at the Champions Trophy hockey tournament.
India are currently placed second in the standings with seven points from two wins, one loss and a draw. Defending and world champions Australia are atop the table with 10 points and have already secured a berth in Sunday’s summit clash.
As per the rules of the six-nation tournament, the top two teams from the round robin stage will play in the final.
For India the equation is simple — a draw on Saturday would surely guarantee their place in what can be termed as a repeat of 2016 Champions Trophy final in London.
For Netherlands, it is a must-win match as only a victory can ensure their place in the final.
In the other inconsequential match of the day, in-form Australia are considered as hands down favourites against Olympic champions Argentina.
Under new chief coach Harendra Singh, India could not have asked for a better start to their campaign here. The Indians mauled arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 before stunning Argentina 2-1.
But thereafter, India lost to Australia 2-3 after a valiant fight before conceding a late goal to draw 1-1 against Belgium on Thursday.
But the results of the opening two games hold India in good stead as they now need just a draw against Netherlands to secure their final berth.