Welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the men’s hockey Group B match between India and Canada. This is Nihit Sachdeva taking you through the action as it unfolds at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash centre.
6:20 PM: Just 10 minutes to go. Will it be a dominating victory for India or will Canada cause an upset? Live action soon.
6:10 PM: ICYMI, Indian women’s team booked a spot in the semifinals today. That too by beating Canada in a virtual quarterfinal. Check the highlights here.
6 PM: Head-to-head record
India and Canada have faced each other 32 times. While India has won 26 times, Canada has managed to emerge victorious only on four occasions. Two matches finished as draw.
5:50 PM: Squads:
Forwards: Abhishek, Lalit Upadhyay, Shamsher, Gurjant, Mandeep
Midfielders: Manpreet, Hardik, Akashdeep, Nilakanta, Vivek Sagar
Defenders: Surender, Harmanpreet, Varun, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet, Jugraj
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak
Forwards: Devohn Noronha Teixeira, Gurpreet Singh, Brendan Guraliuk, Gavin Bains, Find Boothroyd, Matthew Sarmento
Midfielders: Floris Van Son, Oliver Scholfield, Keegan Pereira, Harbir Sidhu
Defenders: Roopkanwar Dhillon, Alexander Bird, Balraj Panesar, Manveer Jhamat, John Smythe, Taylor Curran
Goalkeepers: Tristan Burgoyne, Ethan McTavish
5:40 PM: A win against Canada today will almost guarantee Manpreet Singh-led Indian team a place in the semifinals.
The Indian men’s hockey team would look to put up a disciplined performance and avoid unnecessary cards in its bid to return to winning ways against Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday.
After a thumping 11-0 win over Ghana in their opener, India squandered a three-goal advantage and was held 4-4 by host England in its second pool B match.
The Indians started brilliantly and dominated the first two quarters to enjoy a comfortable 3-0 lead at half time. But the Englishmen came out hard in the final two quarters to stun the Indians.
England was also helped by three cards to India’s Varun Kumar twice, one for five minutes in the first half and for 10 minutes in the second half, besides a 10-minute suspension for Gurjant Singh in the final quarter for dangerous play.
England made full use of those lapses to put pressure on the Indian defense and it eventually wilted under pressure to share the spoils.
India vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh conceded that they need to be more disciplined going forward.
“Our resounding win against Ghana was the perfect way to start our Commonwealth Games campaign. But we are a little bit disappointed about our performance against England.
“There are several takeaways from that match for us particularly when it comes to discipline and not letting our guard down when we have a good lead on board,” he said.
The Indians are placed second in the pool with four points from a win and a draw, while England is in the lead with seven points from three games.
A win against Canada would consolidate India’s position in the group and take it one step closer towards a semifinal spot.
Going by form and rankings, it should be a cakewalk for India. While India is placed fifth in the world, Canada is lying way below, in the 13th position.
Indian men’s hockey squad
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (vice captain), Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (captain), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nilakanta Sharma
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek
Chief coach: Graham Reid
The last time India played against Canada, in the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the Manpreet Singh-led side won 7-3.
Despite the draw against England, the Indians would look to play to their strength, which is attacking hockey. However, while doing so, they will need to guard against complacency.
“Canada is a tough opponent, it has been a while since we faced them in any official tournament, but our game plan is clear and the players are ready to execute it perfectly as our preparations for this game have been rigorous,” Harmanpreet said.
After Canada, India will round off its pool engagements with a match against Wales on Thursday.
When and where to watch India vs Canada, Commonwealth Games 2022 men’s hockey match?
The India vs Canada, Commonwealth Games 2022 men’s hockey match will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network. Live streaming will be available on Sony LIV from 6:30 PM IST.