India will face Japan in hopes of securing a place in the 9/10th place classification match on Thursday at the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 at the Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela.
After its unsuccessful run in the quarterfinals against New Zealand, India will experience the fear of ending up with its worst-ever placing in the history of Hockey World Cup, if it loses its 9th-16th classification match to Japan.
Losing to the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist will mean that the hosts will have to play the 13th-16th classification match on Saturday.
The worst-ever finish for India is 12th (last place) at the London World Cup in 1986. The ongoing edition of the tournament, however, consists of 16 teams. While India might not finish last even if it loses to Japan, the loss will guarantee the Men in Blue their worst placing ever.
The head-to head between the two Asian countries seem to be in favour of the host with Japan winning only thrice and drawing thrice in their 32 encounters.
(With inputs from PTI)
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