New Delhi:

Indian junior women’s hockey team will lock horns against Canada in the opener match of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2023 ignites on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile

Eager to make their mark after securing a commendable 4th place in the 2022 edition, India stands poised to commence their journey in Pool C, a challenging group that includes 2022 runners-up Germany, Belgium, and their first opponents, Canada.

With the opening clash against Canada, India aim to set the tempo early on. Their previous encounters against the Canadian team have seen India triumph in all three games, a statistic that adds fervour to their motivation.

Moreover, India’s triumphant capture of the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 title in Kakamigahara, Japan earlier this year stands as a significant psychological advantage as they step into the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup 2023.

Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team Captain Preeti exuded confidence ahead of their opening game and stated, “We are entering the tournament with determination and focus. Our team’s preparation has been intensive, and we’re keen to translate that into our performance on the field. Playing against Canada in the opener is a chance for us to set the momentum for our campaign.”

Coach Tushar Khandker echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the team’s readiness, saying, “Our players have trained rigorously and are mentally prepared for the challenges ahead. We respect every opponent and are looking forward to a strong start against Canada.”

The tournament’s format demands a top-two finish in the Pool stage for a direct berth into the Quarter-Finals. After Canada, India faces a formidable challenge against Germany on the 30th November, followed by a crucial encounter against Belgium on the 2nd December, culminating the group stage battles.

The Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Final of the tournament will take place on 6th, 8th, and 10th December respectively.

It is worth noting that India are aiming to secure their maiden FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup title. India’s best finish in the prestigious tournament came in 2013 when they finished third.