After two convincing goals in their first two games, Las Leonas will close their participation in Group C of the 2022 Spain/Netherlands Field Hockey World Cup this Thursday when they face Canada from 13 at the Estadi Olimpic de Terrassa. The match, which will be televised by ESPN and Star+, is very important for the future of the Argentine team, since with a win they will win the zone and qualify directly for the quarterfinals.
With six points thanks to 4-0 wins over South Korea and 4-1 wins over Spain, the Argentines are one step away from winning the group. If they succeed, they will qualify directly for the quarterfinals and will play again on Wednesday the 13th on the same stage, home to the decisive instances of the World Cup that will end on Sunday, July 17.
“The goal is to go as far as possible in the World Cup. At the level I see it as good to fight and try to compete for the best. But we are aware that we have to play game by game,” said the coach of the Argentine team, Fernando Ferrara , in dialogue with the Télam agency. “I saw the team very well, focused, solid and respecting the game plan. We did not expect to score goals, much less against Spain, but we know the potential we have and that the days that things go well for us can happen against many teams. We are happy with that”, analyzed the coach who succeeded Carlos Retegui after the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After winning the Pan American Cup and the FIH Pro League undefeated (with 13 wins and only three draws), Las Leonas continue their positive streak in 2022. However, the Netherlands is the current two-time world and Olympic champion, and is the top favourite. “From Rio 2016 until now, the Netherlands won everything except this year’s Pro League, which we won. We’re both favorites but it’s key to keep thinking game by game. We have to finish the zone, then the quarterfinals and what’s to come “said Ferrara, 53.
The Lionesses have a mix of experienced and young players, for whom filming in the Pro League – the most important national team tournament after the Olympics and the World Cup – came in handy. “The league gave us high-level international matches, the girls continue to gain experience and we gain confidence by winning that title,” said the coach.
Regarding this Thursday’s match against the Canadians, who lost their first two games 4-1 against Spain and 3-2 against South Korea, Ferrara considered that “it can be a close game at the beginning.” “They have to win yes or yes to try to qualify, they are going to close a lot and try to come out against it. It will depend on us if we can unblock the match quickly. If Canada has to come out, the match is going to open up and there we can get difference. We have to see how they defend against our attacks”, analyzed the coach.