In what is likely to be a preview of the championship game of the tournament, India and Pakistan meet in the an important league game in Doha, Qatar tomorrow. India lost the bronze medal to Pakistan two weeks ago in Melbourne at the Champions Trophy, so this is also likely to be a grudge match with India hoping to exact some revenge and Pakistan hoping to enhance their dominance over India.
Pakistan have been the better team over the last few months, and played especially well in Melbourne earlier this month to beat Germany and India quite comfortably. They lost narrowly to Netherlands in what was a very tight game. However, they were held to a surprise draw by Malaysia on Sunday in Doha. India’s form has been patchy, with wins over England, New Zealand and Belgium earlier this month but with ugly losses to Australia and Pakistan. They did beat Oman 11-0 yesterday but don’t let that fool you — It may be hard to find 11 citizens of Oman that actually play field hockey.
The schedule for Monday, December 24 is:
3pm local Doha time – Japan v Oman
5pm local Doha time – China v Malaysia
7pm local Doha time – India v Pakistan
December 25 (Christmas) is a rest day, before the final round robin games on the 26th and the finals on the 27th of December.