India to meet Oman in Asia Cup hockey opener

The ninth Men’s Asia Cup hockey tournament kicks off at Ipoh in Malaysia on Saturday. India is placed in Pool-B, alongside Korea, Bangladesh and Oman. Pool-A includes hosts Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan and Chinese Taipei.

In the opening match of the tournament, India will meet Oman today. The match will begin at 1:35 PM Indian Time.

The semi-finals of the competition will be played on August 30, with the title clash slated for September 1.

India’s World Cup hopes hinge on this tournament’s triumph, as the event offers its winners an automatic entry into next year’s FIH World Cup, as continental champions. Earlier, India had wasted an opportunity to book a World Cup ticket, when it failed to secure a top-three finish at the FIH Hockey World League semi-finals in Rotterdam.

India had lifted the Asia Cup in 2003 and 2007, while they finished runners up four times.