Fans can watch the India vs. Belgium hockey match live online and see if the Indian squad can continue its run and win the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup final on its home turf.
Hosting the men’s Junior World Cup for the second time, India has gone on a winning streak to reach Sunday’s final match against Belgium. It has been 15 years since the Indian squad won the under-21 tournament, but the Colts will have that chance before a home crowd in Uttar Pradesh.
The 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup final is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. IST (1:30 p.m. GMT) and will be broadcast on Hotstar in India, with live streaming video also available (a link to the online video can be found below).
For the Indian Colts, Sunday’s match is a chance to follow up Friday’s shoot-out win over Australia by snagging a gold medal, and coach Harendra Singh said his team is ready for it.
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“December 18 match is the biggest game for these boys. I would fold my hands and request them to show their character on that day. They need to decide which color medal they want to see hanging in their necks,” Harendra said, via the Indian Express.
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Fans who watch the India vs. Belgium hockey match live online will see an Indian team taking a simple approach. Singh said his team will need to play simple hockey, avoiding early goals and keeping up a physical pace, the Hindustan Times noted.
Roelant Oltmans, coach of India’s senior team and manager of the junior side, said the team faltered a bit against Australia in the semifinal, not putting enough pressure on their opponent in the first half. But he noted that the team responded well and made the correct halftime adjustments.
Now, it will be time for a “perfect” effort in Sunday’s final match to win the gold medal, Oltmans told the First Post.
While the sport has often been dominated by European teams, hockey is still quite popular in India, and organizing secretary RP Singh said the home fans follow it as closely as cricket.
Though the Indian team will have the benefit of playing before 15,000 of these fans, Belgium has shown to be a team on the rise as well, the Indian Express noted.
“Belgium are strong there is no doubt it. But at the same time against every opponent you get your opportunities. And also against Belgium we will get our opportunities,” Harendra said. “Belgium is a tough team and they have shown it by beating top sides like Holland, Germany, Argentina. It’s a very strong side but we are also a very strong side.”
Belgium’s coach, Joreon Baart, said his team is also looking at Sunday’s final match as a chance to cash in on more than two years of preparation. The Belgium team lost to France in the quarterfinals of the last Junior World Cup, and now has a chance to take their place among the elite programs — especially with six-time champion Germany bowing out early in this tournament.
“Now the boys are really eager to get very far on the pitch in this tournament as in life and as a hockey player,” he added.
Whichever team wins on Sunday, the match represents a quick rise for both programs. Belgium finished sixth at the last tournament in New Delhi in 2013, while the Indian team finished 13th.
Those who want to watch the India vs. Belgium hockey match live online can click here for streaming video of the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup final.
[Featured Image by Hussein Malla/AP Images]