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Skipper Savita expects exciting encounter in WC opener

Skipper Savita expects exciting encounter in WC opener

Amstelveen (Netherlands), July 2 (UNI) Ahead of the FIH women's World Cup opener India skipper Savita Punia stated that team is expecting an exciting encounter against the nemesis England.
India and England have shared an exciting rivalry with encounters between the two teams going down to the wire on most occasions.
In the Tokyo Olympic 2020, India lost a bronze medal match to it was Great Britain by a narrow 4-3 margin, various players from GB olympic squad will take on India as they represent England on Sunday, in their first pool B match at the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup in Spain and Netherlands.
"Even though as a team, we would be focused on our own performance, England and India have faced off in some very close encounters and undoubtedly a rivalry has developed over the past three-four years in particular," Savita said.
"Some of our players want to challenge their goalkeeper Maddie Hinge, who has been quite exceptional at the goalpost. And they also have some very experienced players like Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley, their Captain Hollie Pearne-Webb and Lily Owsley who will bring their 'A' game against us," she added.
At the previous edition of the World Cup held in London in 2018, India matched the performance of England with a 1-1 draw in the round robin league match.
Earlier that year, the India women had beaten England 2-1 in the group stage at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia but had lost in the bronze medal match.
The two teams have gone neck-to-neck in the 2006 World Cup where they drew 1-1 as well as the 2002 Champions Challenge 3-3 and had lost 1-0 in the 1998 Women's World Cup group match.
Going by stats, the Sunday's game between India and England promises to be thrilling.
Even though India and England were scheduled to play a double-header game in FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year which would have given insights into their game, the match was cancelled. But India remains optimistic about their chances here at the prestigious World Cup.
"Yes, a match against them would have been ideal in the lead up to the World Cup but we can't be too bothered about what has happened in the past. The only aim for us right now is to get on to a good start in the tournament and the team is 100 per cent ready," added the goalkeeper.
The Indian Team will take on England on July 3 in their campaign opener in pool B. In their second match they will play China on July 5 followed by a match against New Zealand on July 7 in Amstelveen.
Savita urged the Indian fans to back them in their campaign for a maiden World Cup medal. "There is a big Indian community in the Netherlands and we are expecting many of them will turn up for the matches. We saw many of them come to support us in Rotterdam during the Pro League matches and definitely fan support will motivate us even more," She concluded.

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