Bhubaneswar: India after facing a heart-breaking loss to Argentina, will have to regroup quickly if they hope to do an encore in the Hockey World League (HWL) Final when they take on a depleted Germany in the bronze medal match, here today.
Germany lost their semifinal 0-3 against world champions and title holders Australia at the Kalinga Stadium here.
Australia will now play Argentina in the summit clash of the tournament, scheduled to be held today evening.
After having lost 0-2 to Germany in the pool stages of the tournament, the Indians would be hoping to avenge the defeat. And come today, the hosts can breathe a little easy against the Germans, who are bound to field a depleted side again because of fever and injury.
Having finished third in the last edition of the tournament in Raipur in 2015, India desperately wanted to go one step further this year but their dreams were crushed by the experienced Olympic champions Argentina, who displayed calm and cool temperament under difficult playing conditions to hold on to their solitary lead in the semifinals.
The ongoing HWL Final is Asian champion India’s biggest tournament before next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Even though India had the better match statistics in terms of ball possession, shots on goal and circle penetrations, they failed to break the resolute Argentine defence.
The close defeat, that too, in difficult playing conditions will definitely be hard to digest for the Indians but they cannot afford to get bogged down by that and let it affect them mentally. .
All in all, India have a great chance to reclaim their bronze medal tomorrow against a bruised and battered German side.