Brussels, June 9: Placed third in the FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League, the Indian team takes on World No. 7 Belgium in a key double-header this weekend at the Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein Stadium in Antwerp, hoping to improve their position in the league.
The Indian team currently has 22 points in 8 games and will take on Belgium in two matches on June 11 and 12. These two matches and subsequent games in the FIH Pro Leagues will also be vital preparations for the upcoming World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands.
India, who have recently done well and moved to sixth in the World Rankings, are currently third in the Pro League 2021/22 just behind Argentina and the Netherlands. Belgium, on the other hand, is currently placed in seventh place on the table with 12 points in 8 games.
Goalkeeper Savita, who will be leading the India women’s hockey team as captain for the upcoming matches, spoke on how the team has prepared for the opposition ahead of the double-header.
“We are prepared for Belgium. We have a number of seasoned players in our squad who know what it takes to win on foreign soil. We have been consistently performing well in recent months, and we are confident that we have what it takes to win big games away from home,” Savita was quoted as saying by Hockey India in a release.
“We have worked on the mistakes we made against the Netherlands in our previous two games and are confident that we will not repeat the same mistakes in the upcoming games. We have talked about the areas where we need to improve and worked hard in those areas and are confident that we’ll succeed here,” Savita added.
The Indian women’s hockey team will enter the contest after a win and loss against the Netherlands in their previous FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League 2021/22 encounters in April. The Indian team won the first game 2-1 and went down in the second via shootout (1-3) after the match was tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
Defender Deep Grace Ekka, who has been named as the vice-captain, said that the team is improving with each game and that they will be aiming for a win against Belgium.
“I believe we are prepared. We have faith in ourselves, in our team, and, most importantly, in one another. We are aware that we must maintain our performance as we prepare for the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, which will take place in July of this year,” Ekka said.
“We must maintain possession of the ball against Belgium, and we must be active and apply pressure to gain possession of the ball when we do not have it. Our immediate goal is to win these games, as well as the next matches against Argentina and the United States, in order to boost our morale ahead of the World Cup,” she added.