Asiad: Can India pass the Pakistan huddle in hockey?

Updated: 20 November 2010 14:41 IST

Get ready for a super Saturday at the Asiad with an India-Pakistan clash. Even the local Chinese fans who know very little about hockey are excited about this t

Asiad: Can India pass the Pakistan huddle in hockey?

Get ready for a super Saturday at the Asiad with an India-Pakistan clash. Even the local Chinese fans who know very little about hockey are excited about this traditional rivalry. If India beat Pakistan they top their group and that would get them to avoid South Korea till the finals, giving them their best chance at gold.

The Indian team on a roll at the Asiad after their 7-0 win over Hong Kong and a 9-0 win over Bangladesh. Sandeep Singh has scored 6 of those goals. Now it's India vs Pakistan to decide the group topper.

"After CWG, we didn't get any practice matches at all, so the 2 easy matches here have given us the much needed momentum before the crucial game against Pakistan," Indian skipper Rajpal Singh.

"It's always great to have a crowd and the home crowd supported us a lot, but even without that here, we're going to do well," Coach Jose Brasa said.

However, Pakistan's hockey is at an all time low. They finished last in the World Cup in Delhi after losing to India and then failed to make the semis at the Commonwealth Games after losing to India again.

Desperate measures have included recalling the retired drag flicker Sohail Abbas. Currently that tactic is paying off since Abbas has scored 4 goals and Pakistan top the group ahead of India on goal difference.

India's track record against archrivals Pakistan has been great this year. But this time the 2 teams are playing at a neutral venue.

If India can clear the Pakistan huddle, and then make it to the semis, it will take them one step closer to qualifying for the London Olympics. 

Topics : Hockey
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