Canadian field hockey fans can officially mark the following date on their calendar: November 28, 2018 – Canada will face world number three Belgium in the opening game of the 2018 FIH World Cup, in Bhubaneswar, India.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) officially announced the preliminary pools and match schedule for the World Cup this morning. In addition to the Belgian national team, Canada will also face Commonwealth rivals, South Africa and India. Canada will test themselves against South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in a month’s time, which will be a good litmus test to see where the team is at heading into the fall’s World Cup.
Nov 28 – CAN vs BEL 1700
Dec 2 – CAN vs RSA 1700
Dec 8 – CAN vs IND 1900
The Canada vs India game poses a particularly mouth-watering matchup. As Canadian fans will remember all-to-well, Canada qualified for this World Cup by defeating India 3-2 in a thrilling World League Semi-Final match last summer. Despite Canada only having one victory against India since the turn of the century, it’s a rivalry worth keeping an eye on. That game against the host-nation India takes place on December 8, 2018 at 7PM local time.
Preliminary Pool Play finishes on December 9 with crossover games taking place the following two days. Quarterfinals are scheduled for December 12 and 13. Semifinals are scheduled for December 15. The Gold and Bronze Medal matches are scheduled for December 16. More details and stories to come.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 25: Photos from the 5th/6th place match between India and Canada on day nine of the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on June 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photos by Alex Morton & Steve Bardens/Getty Images)