Following on from last weekend’s double away victory for Netherlands women against China, we switch our attention to the opening matches of the men’s competition as India make their FIH Hockey Pro League debut with two matches against the Netherlands at Bhubaneswar’s magnificent Kalinga Hockey Stadium.
India v Netherlands (M)
Where: Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar (IND)
When: 18 & 19 January 2019, 1900 (18 Jan) & 1700 (19 Jan) local time (GMT/UTC +5.30)
Summary: With the Netherlands sitting third in the FIH World Rankings and having claimed FIH Hockey Pro League and European bronze medals in 2019, India head coach Graham Reid will be acutely aware of the challenge that faces his team in this weekend’s double header at the Kalinga Stadium. As former assistant coach to the Dutchmen, Reid will know that the most recent meeting between the two teams also took place at the Kalinga, where the Netherlands knocked the host nation out of the Odisha Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. That clash came at the quarter-final stage, with Akashdeep Singh’s early strike being quickly cancelled out by Thierry Brinkman before a late Mink van der Weerden penalty corner condemned India to a heart-breaking 2-1 defeat. Despite that painful result, a quick look at the previous ten meetings reveals that there is little to choose between the two sides. The Netherlands have won five of those meetings, with India victorious on four occasions and one match finishing in a draw. While predicting a winner may not be easy, matches between India and the Netherlands are rarely short of excitement – the fans in Bhubaneswar could be in for a real treat as their beloved team begin its FIH Hockey Pro League journey.
India head coach Graham Reid: “It will be important to start strong and sharp in the Pro League with our first three encounters against the top three teams in the world. We will be focussing on getting our structures right and honing our set plays as preparation for our Olympic campaign.”
Netherlands head coach Max Caldas: “The matches against India are a very important opener. Playing against India at their home ground is challenging no doubt but it is also very exciting because we love playing in Bhubaneswar. The players and combinations we wanted to test were experimented during the previous edition of Pro League. This edition we will have our most competitive team as this will be the stepping-stone for us to be the best at Tokyo.”
Current FIH World Rankings: India – 5 | Netherlands – 3
Final standings – FIH Hockey Pro League 2019: India – N/A | Netherlands – 3
Previous FIH Hockey Pro League meetings
N/A – India’s debut season.
Head-to-heads in all competitions (since 2013 – 10 matches)
Wins: India – 4 | Netherlands – 5
Goals scored: India – 19 | Netherlands – 24
To find out how you can watch the action, please visit our broadcast page by clicking here. In territories where broadcast rights agreements are not in place, fans can watch live match action from the FIH Hockey Pro League via the FIH.live global broadcast platform. To visit FIH.live, click here.
To see the confirmed match schedule for the FIH Hockey Pro League, which includes links to ticket sites for each of the matches, please click here. For information about how to purchase tickets for the FIH Hockey Pro League matches, please click here.