Germany will aim to continue domination against India when the two hockey-playing nations face-off in the semifinals of the 11th Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium on Friday.
For the record, the Germans who are ranked World No 2, hold the edge over the World No 3-ranked Indians by displaying awesome firepower to dismantle India’s challenge with a 6-1 win in the Four-Nations Junior Men’s Hockey tournament in Dusseldorf in August.
The tournaments in Dusseldorf and Johor Bahru are being played as part of the preparations for the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023 which will be played in Kuala Lumpur between 4-16 December this year.
Germany and Australia shared seven-equal points at the conclusion of the Group A matches in the SOJC but the Burras topped the table standings on a better goal average.
“If given a choice of choosing who we would prefer to play in the semi-finals, I would go for Pakistan because we have never played them. We have played India and it is a challenge to go up against the Pakistanis,” said Germany’s coach Rein van Eijk.
“On the other hand, India is a great opponent and it is always a great honour to play them as they are a very skillful team in terms of techniques. We are happy to have qualified for the semi-finals and look forward towards an exciting encounter against India,” he added.
Commenting on the last match against Great Britain a fortnight ago, van Eijk disclosed that it was a heart-thumping match and he was pleased that his side walked away with a 4-3 victory.
“I think the team dealt very well in the game compared to the number of cards that the players had. It was a close game and we tried a couple of different things in the match. It would have been nice if we had more speed in the game. I was worried when the score was 4-3 as it could have been 4-4 at any time,” said van Eijk.
The Germans, nevertheless, are upbeat for the upcoming clash against the Indians and aim to continue their winning momentum.