Rourkela: It was the third consecutive day of FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 action in the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium as teams in Pool D began the second round of matches.
England and India have a recent history of playing tough matches with very little to separate the two teams and that proved to be the case once again as the battle between the two top ranked teams of Pool D ended in a 0-0 draw at Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 as teams in Pool D.
Both sides had plenty of chances to score but good defending and lack of composure from attackers in crucial moments kept the score tied and earned the teams a point each.
England vs India was expected to be a battle for top spot in the Pool D and the first half of the game proved the expectations were accurate as an edgy half of hockey before a packed stadium, with neither team giving an inch, and neither gaining one.
Despite a plethora of penalty corners and opportunities for both teams, there was no finishing touch to be found as teams went into the break at level footing.
The second half saw India dominate possession and territory with midfielder Hardik Singh being the standout player, but once again there were no finishing touches to be found in the circle.
Mandeep Singh did get the ball in the back of the goal towards the end of the third quarter but the whistle had already been blown for a foul before the goal.
Phil Roper was on the end of a great long pass, which just left him with the keeper to beat, but his attempt to lift the ball over Sreejesh went just wide and India breathed a sigh of relief.
The final scoreline remained 0-0, but a major concern for India will be the health of standout player Hardik Singh who appeared to pull up with a groin injury towards the end of the game.
English keeper Oliver Payne was awarded player of the match.
In the first game of the day, Spain thrashed Wales 5-1. The Spaniards made the big moments count, scoring twice in the first half and thrice in the second half to take all three points.
Marc Reyne and Marc Miralles were on the scoresheet twice for the Red Sticks, with captain Alvaro Iglesias adding a fifth.
Wales, playing in just their second ever men’s World Cup game, scored their first ever goal through James Carson, to take some positives from the loss.
Result: Match 1
Spain 5-1 Wales
Player of the Match: Marc Miralles (ESP)
Umpires: Ben Goentgen (GER), Sean Rapaport (RSA), Bruce Bale (ENG-video)
Result: Match 2
England 0-0 India
Player of the Match: Oliver Payne (ENG)
Umpires: Marcin Grochal (POL), Steve Rogers (AUS), Hong-Zhen Lim (SGP-video)