The weight of expectation heaped on India men to make a medal match for the first time in 49 years is a heavy one ahead of their last eight clash on Sunday. And Great Britain? Ninth place in Rio and a last eight defeat in Tokyo would be marked a failure for one of world hockey’s best funded programmes.
There is much riding on it. Yet, for India head coach Graham Reid, the Australian was “very confident” with the draw handed to them after Friday’s thrill-fest finale to the Pool stages.
After 18 months without major competition play for the Asian powerhouse, he has every reason to be optimistic. India have relished playing back at tempo at these Tokyo Olympics. The question now is what have both teams been holding back for these matches, as is hockey’s wont.
Sunday’s match will be tight, no question.
With Great Britain compact in midfield and adept at the back, this could be decided on penalty corners.
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