Tokyo Olympics: Hockey Day 9: Quarterfinal — India vs Great Britain — Preview, schedule, Live Streaming, when and where to watch
A preview of the Men's Hockey Quarterfinal match between India and Great Britain to be played on Sunday
Eight-time gold medallists India will take on Great Britain in the quarterfinals of the Field Hockey event at Tokyo 2020.
Here is the line-up and timings for the men's quarter-finals – which take place on Sunday 1st August.— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) July 30, 2021
Time mentioned is the Japan Standard Time.#Hockey #Tokyo2020 #HockeyInvites #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/KXdRgavC1Q
The Indian men's hockey team have made it to the Olympic quarterfinals for the second time ever - the first happened to be in Rio 2016.
The Indians were last involved in a knock-out game at the Olympics during the 1980 Moscow finals, and the last semifinal that India played in was at Munich in 1972 where they lost to Pakistan.
The Indians finished a disappointing seventh at the Montreal Games in 1976 after artificial surfaces were introduced for the first time. Olympian Joaquim Carvalho has confirmed, exclusively for The Bridge, that the Field Hockey competition in Moscow 1980 did not involve a semifinal game.
The many headlines that claimed that the Indians had entered the quarterfinals in Rio after a gap of 36 years were essentially inaccurate. For the simple reason that the quarterfinal format was first introduced in the Rio Games, prior to which the top two sides used to advance to the semifinals which were preceded by classification matches.
While it is tough to separate history from the Olympics, given the rich tradition of the Games, neither will count on the pitch at the Oi Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
The Indian men's team are now ranked as the third-best in the world while England (Great Britain) occupy the fifth position as per the latest FIH rankings.
Purely from the perspective of performances during the group stage of the Tokyo Games, Great Britain have a distinct edge.
Adam Dixon and co. managed to hold the Netherlands and Belgium to a draw, and in the process have had the opportunity to sharpen their skills against the two giants of the modern game.
On the other hand, the Indians were annihilated by Australia in a pool match of a group that was arguably easier than Great Britain's, and went on to beat Spain and Argentina - both of whom are not at their best in Tokyo.
The Indian team management would have had a long hard look at the Germany game which GB lost by a 1-5 margin to try and determine the weak links if any in a side that boasts of some phenomenal talent.
Sam Ward has the ability to power the drag-flicks in, but is lethal with his tomahawks from open play as well, as the Dutch discovered during the course of their 2-2 drawn game in the group stages.
When Sam Ward isn't in the team (like after being ruled out of Odisha 2018) or in the striking circle – trust his World Cup replacement Liam Ansell to trouble the opposition in pretty much the same manner. Not surprisingly, both Sam Ward and Liam Ansell have four goals apiece in Tokyo 2020.
Danny Kerry's team is led by 34-year-old defender Adam Dixon who will be partnered on the back lines by seasoned veterans David Ames and Brendan Creed.
Graham Reid's team will be hoping that their four-man PC battery consisting of Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas are able to fire on the big stage. The significance of penalty corners can barely be overemphasized especially since a young and inexperienced Indian forward line has not done much to inspire confidence except during the inconsequential Japan game.
The team that manages to absorb the pressure of the big game is the one that is most likely to come out trumps.
Do not miss the epic contest that begins late in the evening at 2100 local time which is 1730 IST.
Where to watch?
You can catch all the action LIVE in Sony Sports Network channels in India. Here are the details of broadcasters in some more countries:
Japan: The Japan Consortium
USA: NBC Universal
UK: BBC, Eurosport
Australia: Seven Network
Brazil: Grupo Globo, Bandsports
South Africa: SABC