The Vantage Black Sticks come up against a Spanish side who are desperate for their first win of the Odisha Men’s World Cup. The Spanish side need to win today to ensure safe passage through to the second round. The Vantage Black Sticks have traditionally struggled against Spain and haven't beaten the Spanish side since 2013. This is going to be a great opportunity for the Vantage Black Sticks to stop this trend as they have been playing some attractive hockey and if they can put a complete performance together then they will gain a much needed 3 points.
Entering the game, The Vantage Black Sticks sit second in Pool A pool on 3 points, 2 points ahead of Spain and France. The top 3 sides from each pool qualify for the knockout stage of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup.
On Monday morning the Vantage Black Sticks had a tough match against Argentina, despite some promising attacking moments the guys went down 3-0 to the Olympic champions. The team will be looking for improvements at both ends of the field against Spain on Friday morning.
Spain have some fantastic young strikers and the player to watch is their outstanding young striker Enrique Gonzalez who is going to be playing in his 75th match having scored 11 goals including the 1st one against Spain in their opening match. Enrique has shown in both games in the tournament that his fast hand speed and determination is a problem for opposing teams.
For the Vantage Black Sticks Men look out for in form striker Stephen Jenness who has been causing nightmares for the opposition defenders early in the tournament and if he can put some early goals in the back of the net the Vantage Black Sticks will be very difficult to beat.
Vantage Black Sticks Captain Blair Tarrant commented ahead of the match “We expected our pool would be very tight, and that’s the way it is playing out. Argentina will top the pool, with Spain, France and ourselves still in with a chance of sealing a spot in the crossover matches. So the final pool games will be critical matches for everyone”.
The match will be screened live on Sky Sport 2 at 12:30am NZT.
Last 5 Matches vs Spain
2017 - World League Semi Final - Lost 3-4
2016 - Olympic Games - Lost 2-3
2016 - 6 Nations - Lost - 0-2
2015 - World League Semi Final - Lost 1-3
2014 - World Cup - Drew 1-1
The FIH Pro League is Coming
The FIH Pro League - Presented by Sentinel Homes will see home and away games btween the world's top 9 Men's and Women's hockey nations played between January and June, starting in 2019, culminating in a winner takes all Grand Final