Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India are currently placed at the second place in Pool D of the ongoing FIH Men’s Odisha Hockey World Cup 2023 with one convincing win against Spain and one fighting draw against England at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Birsa Munda stadium in Rourkela respectively.

Only one team can advance to the quarterfinals directly and England are currently at top of the Pool D which is considered as the group of death. Both India and England are tied with four points each. However, the Three Lions are currently leading the group on the basis of a better goal margin. While, India scored only two goals against Spain, England struck five goals against Wales.

Thus, the equation required for India to top Pool D and get direct qualification into the top eight is pretty straightforward. In a bid to advance into the quarterfinals, the Men in Blue should trounce Wales with a better goal difference. 

On the other hand, if Spain spring a surprise and stun England with a victory in their last group match and they also get the better of lower-ranked Wales with a better margin of goals, they may also advance to the quarters directly.

Meanwhile, if formidable England lose or draw against Spain, there will be no worries for the Men in Blue as they just need to win against lower-ranked  Wales by any margin to top their pool and qualify directly for the top eight.

However, if England beat Spain, then India will need to batter Wales by at least with a margin of five goals.  Moreover, the number of goals India need to score against Wales will keep on increasing depending on England’s victory margin.

In case, India finish second in Pool D, which is known as the group of death, the hosts will have to lock horns with the third-place team in Pool C. It could be either New Zealand or Malaysia in the ‘crossover’ round.