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Battle for bronze today against Asian Extinguisher (7/5/2015)
--K. Arumugam
Battle for bronze today against Asian Extinguisher British

Indian men, who are having roller coaster ride at Antwerp, will have an opportunity to disprove their critics when they take on Great Britain today for the bronze catch in the Hockey World League Semifinals.

A good performance from India will erase the bad memories of semifinal in which the Indian team was made to look like a novice by the neo-power Belgium.

Having conceded early goals in the last two encounters against strong teams in the quarters and semifinals, Indian men's hockey team is viewed in poor light.

After Australia outplayed India in the quarters, Belgium did not show mercy when they piled up four unanswered goals.

India's over all defence, especially in times of penalty corner defence were made conspicuous for their inefficiency when the likes of Chris Crielo punctured with irksome regularity.

For the close watchers, present Indian team did not enthuse despite general good impression of the team among public at large.

However, history in short and long term, is interesting as GB takes on India today

In 2008 Great Britain defeated India at Chile in the crucial Olympic Qualifier. India for the first time failed to qualify for the Olympics. 7 years later, GB (and its ally Ireland) did the same to Pakistan. India or Pak kept GB out of top for almost 60 years from 1920 to late 1980s till the Seoul Olympics. This is modern hockey's indelible irony.

Let us see what India is upto GB in the bronze match today. India can today put up a good show and prove their worth and try to change the history

For that India need to stretch the British to limit, and take them to tie-break.

Beating them in regulation time will be fantastic though.

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