India will face Singapore in their opening match of the Women’s Asia Cup which gets underway on October 28. Top eight Asian women’s teams, including India, will face off in the continental tournament, which will also serve as a qualifier for the Hockey World Cup 2018.
Teams from China, India, Kazakstan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and reigning title holders Japan will fight for supremacy in the event which will conclude on November 5 in Kakamigahara City.
The competition gets underway on Saturday with all eight teams in action. Pool A matches kick things off with China taking on Malaysia, India facing Singapore, Korea playing Thailand and host nation Japan meeting Kazakhstan.
For India, after the magnificent achievement of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Finals was a bit of a disappointment and the eves will be desperate to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
It will also be a first international event under the guidance of new Head Coach Harendra Singh, who took over the reins after previous Head Coach Sjoerd Marijne moved across to take over as men’s Head Coach.
Three teams have already booked their places in next year’s blue riband event. China and Korea finished second and fourth respectively at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Brussels, while Japan’s sixth-place finish in the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg was enough to see them qualify for the London spectacle.
India could also qualify, as the next highest placed and ranked finishers from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, ahead of the Asia Cup final should South Africa win the Africa Cup of Nations on October 29.
This is because South Africa already has a place at the Hockey World Cup by virtue of their fifth place finish at the same Hockey World League Semi-Final.
If any of the other teams not already qualified for London lift the Asia Cup on November 5, they will join the 14 teams who will have already qualified for next year’s showcase event.