~ The Indian Women’s team will face off against Germany in a two-legged affair on 12th and 13th March in Bhubaneswar ~
Bhubaneswar, 11 March 2022: After the two-legged contest against Spain, the India Women’s Hockey Team will square off against Germany in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 matches scheduled to take place on March 12 and March 13 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Ahead of the encounter, India Women’s Hockey Team Captain Savita weighed in on the opposition and opened up on the Indian team’s preparations for the contest.
“We made a few mistakes in the second game against Spain. In the break we received between these two games, we have worked on those errors. We know Germany have a very strong defence, so we have planned how we can create attacking opportunities. We worked on the areas we need to improve upon. Our strength has always been attacking hockey – so we worked a lot on taking penalty corners and defending penalty corners,” Savita said at the pre-match virtual press conference.
India last played against Germany at the Tokyo Olympics where they suffered a 0-2 defeat in the Pool A match. Overall, the two teams have faced off against each other five times since 2006, and India have won only once. Savita explained the importance of entering the contest against the World No. 5 team with a positive mindset.
“Since we have started playing against stronger teams, we have learned the importance of mental strength. It is a skill as important as your skills with a hockey stick. How we adapt to pressure situations can determine the results. We are happy to be given opportunities to face off against a strong team such as Germany and we hope we can showcase the strengths that we have worked on in the training,” Savita said.
India Vice-Captain Deep Grace Ekka further added that fitness levels can be an important key for India in the upcoming matches.
“Fitness will be an important key against Germany. We have improved our fitness levels a lot in the past few years. Now, we feel we can face any team that comes in front of us and win matches. Hopefully, we will deliver a strong performance against Germany as well,” Ekka said.
Germany will be playing their first FIH Pro League 2021/22 since losing both their matches against Belgium last year in October. On being asked at the pre-match virtual press conference about the team’s preparation for games against India, Germany Head Coach Akim Bouchouchi said that his team is ready.
“After the games against Belgium, we had a break. In Germany, we play indoor hockey. Most of our players played for their clubs in their own leagues. We had one camp in Valencia for preparation and now we are here for four-five days in India to acclimatize ourselves to very warm weather. This has been our preparation and we are ready for the contest,” Germany Head Coach Akim Bouchouchi said.
Germany Captain Lisa Nolte said India may have an advantage playing at the home conditions, but added her team is looking forward to playing at the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium.
“We are looking forward to the matches against India. It’s such an amazing stadium. It’s a special moment for us to play at such a big stadium,” Lisa Nolte, Germany Captain said.
“The Indian girls are very fast and they have good skills. The weather is so hot and could be an advantage for the Indian girls. But we are optimistic we will handle the pressure and hopefully deliver a good performance,” she added.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team will face off against Germany in two games at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar at 17:00 hrs IST on 12 March 2022 and 13 March 2022 respectively. Matches will be telecast live on Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD, and Disney + Hotstar.
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