India meet SL in Asiad opener

India men will face Sri Lanka in their tournament opener while the eves will be up against Thailand in their first match of the hockey competition at the 17th Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4.

The Sardar Singh-led Indian men’s hockey team will open the Asian Games campaign against the island nation on September 21 while the eves will play their first match the next day on September 22.

In the men’s competition, India are placed in Pool B along side arch rivals Pakistan, Oman, China and Sri Lanka.

After Sri Lanka, the Indian men’s team will face Oman on September 23 followed by mouth-watering clash against Pakistan on September 25 and China on September 27.

On the other hand, the Indian women’s Team will have face China in their second game on September 24 before clashing against Malaysia in their last pool match on September 26.

Indian men’s team chief coach Terry Walsh feels now with the draw out his wards will be in a much better position to prepare themselves for the continental event.

“With the schedule now with us, we will be in a better position to put our strategies and tactics in place,” he said. “While the team is confident of going all out against the opponents, we will still ensure that we are closing all loopholes before the start of the tournament. The boys are confident post their silver medal finish in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games and are aiming to generate even better results in the forthcoming tournament.”

Indian women’s team chief coach Neil Hawgood, on the other hand, is confident about topping their pool. “The girls are looking forward to their first match and are confident of topping their pool. Our aim is to focus on cracking the pool matches and ensuring a berth in the finals,” Hawgood said.

Schedule: Men: Sept 21: vs Sri Lanka; Sept 23: vs Oman; Sept 25: vs Pakistan; Sept 27: vs China. 

Women: Sept 22: vs Thailand; Sept 24: vs China; Sept 26: vs Malaysia. All matches begin at 1:30 pm IST. 

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