Tirkey tips: Keep up tempo

India need to remain alert in defence and at the same time look for scoring opportunity: Former captain Dilip Tirkey

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneswar
  • Published 13.12.18, 2:14 AM
  • Updated 13.12.18, 9:17 AM
  • a min read
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Fans cheer for India at a World Cup match at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

The quarter-finals of the Men’s Hockey World Cup began on Wednesday, while the host is set to take on the Netherlands on Thursday.

India, which topped its group with two wins and a draw, qualified directly for the last eight stages, while the Netherlands crushed Canada 5-0 in a crossover match on Tuesday to set up Thursday’s clash with the hosts.

Former captain of the national team Dilip Tirkey said the hosts should keep up the tempo in the match against the Dutch.

“The team has been playing some aggressive hockey so far in the tournament. However, they need to be extreme cautious in the quarter-final match as the Netherlands is known for its attacking play. The hosts need to remain alert in defence and at the same time look for scoring opportunity. All the home fans will also be looking forward to the hosts claiming a semi-final berth,” said Tirkey.

In 2014, India was defeated in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy, while last year it won a bronze in Men’s Hockey World League Final.

The fans are also expecting an intriguing quarterfinal clash. “This is one among the best opportunities for the hosts to win the tournament after 1975. They have already won the hearts of the fans with their attacking style of play in the pool stage and are yet to be defeated in the tournament. We are also confident that the fans will turn up in large numbers to cheer up the team,” said Anup Das, a hockey fan.

In the two quarter-final matches played on Wednesday, a large number of foreign nationals thronged the stadium to cheer their respective teams. While England became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals by beating Argentina, Australia defeated France to move to last four. The third quarter-final of the tournament will be played between Germany and Belgium on Thursday.