The fifth edition of the tournament kicked off with a bang in Max-Schmeling-Halle, Am Falkpl., Berlin, Germany. 24 matches showcased an action packed match-day with a 192 goals in the opening day alone, for both, Men’s and Women’s categories.
Men’s Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018:
The host nation, Germany, lead Pool A with a phenomenal goal difference of 21. The three time world champion, Germany, started their campaign with a crushing, 15-0, victory against Kazakhstan, followed by a comfortable 7-1 victory against Australia. Also with two victories under its belt, Czech Republic, hold second place in Pool A, separated from the host only by an inferior goal difference of 11. The world no. 6 won against Trinidad and Tobago (7-2) and then against Kazakhstan (7-3) . German national Christopher Ruhr (8 goals) and Czech national, Jakub Lyndl (7 goals) lead the goal scoring table at the end of Day 1 of the event.
Poland and Australia, won and lost a match each at the opening day. Australia started their event with a marginal 5-3 victory against Poland, but were undone by a strong German side. Poland won their second match against Trinidad and Tobago, despite being 3-0 down early in the first half. Fighting back in terrific fashion, Poland turned the match around and finished on-top with a comfortable 11-5 victory. Kazakhstan and Trinidad and Tobago hold a point-less last and second last position respectively.
In Pool B, Austria emerged as leaders, being the only team in the Pool to win both its matches, first against world no 16 Belgium (7-2) and then against South Africa (6-3). Second in the group are Asian Champions (world no 7), Iran. The Asian Indoor Champions kicked off their event with a 5-1 victory over Switzerland. The second game saw a tight, neck-to-neck match against Belgium who stubbornly held Iran to a 3-3 draw. Iran’s team manager Hadi Shariatisaravi shared his post-match thoughts, “We have worked really hard from the last (indoor) World Cup, and this was what we wanted. We are going to finish first, second or third We are going to do it, for sure. As we say, life is hockey and hockey is life, in Iran”.
Russian and Switzerland are tied in 3rd and 4th respectively with a win apiece. Belgium, with a draw are fifth while South Africa, who are yet to register a point hold last position.
Women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018:
Netherlands, Belarus, Germany, and Ukraine opened their accounts with two-out-of-two victories in the first day of the tournament. Netherlands and Germany lead Pool A and Pool B respectively on goal difference.
The reigning champions, Netherlands (world no.1) dominated both its matches with comfortable victories over Switzerland (5-2) and Kazakhstan (7-0). Belarus, with an inferior goal difference hold second place, owing to victories over USA (4-1) and Switzerland (5-1). Poland (world no.4) occupied third place in Pool A with a victory over Kazakhstan (4-1) and a draw against USA (1-1), the lowest ranked team in the tournament, which holds 4th place in the pool. Lurking in 5th and 6th are Switzerland and Kazakhstan who are yet to belt a victory.
In Pool B, the host nation leads with a superior, and commendable, goal difference of 19. The world number 2, showed a clear intention to lift the trophy at home by displaying a prolific goal scoring frenzy, first against Russia (8-1) and then against Namibia (12-0). Ukraine also won its first two ties and holds second in the pool. They first defeated Australia in 4-3 thriller before wining Russia (6-4).
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