Women’s national hockey team captain Savita Punia expects the large Indian community in the Netherlands to come to the venue and cheer on the team during their World Cup matches.
India will open their campaign against England in the Pool B match here on Sunday, a year after losing to the same opponents in the bronze medal game at the Tokyo Olympics.
“There is a big Indian community in the Netherlands and we expect a lot of them to show up for the games. We saw a lot of them coming to support us in Rotterdam in the Pro League games. and the support from the fans will motivate us even more,” she said. said.
LILY: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2022: All you need to know, Indian squad, schedule, schedules
At the previous edition of the World Cup in London in 2018, India matched England’s performance with a 1-1 draw in the round-robin league game.
Earlier that year, the Indian team beat England 2-1 in the group stage of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, but lost to them in the bronze medal match.
Speaking about their opponents, Savita said: “Although as a team we would be focused on our own performances, England and India played each other in very close encounters and no doubt a rivalry developed. developed over the last three or four years in particular.
“Some of our players want to challenge their goalkeeper Maddie Hinge, who has been quite exceptional on the goal post. And they also have very experienced players like Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley, their captain Hollie Pearne-Webb and Lily Owsley who will bring their “A ‘game against us,'” she added.
India and England were due to play a double-header in the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year which would have given a preview of their game, but the match was called off.
“Yes, a game against them would have been ideal before the World Cup, but we can’t worry too much about what happened in the past. The only focus for us right now is to get a good start. in the tournament and the team is 100% ready,” added the goalkeeper.
After England, India will face China on July 5, followed by a game against New Zealand on July 7.