Kiwis take on heavyweights Netherlands in QF

New Delhi, Dec 11: New Zealand will take on last edition’s runners-up Netherlands in the Hockey Junior World Cup quarter-final at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Thursday.

“The match against Netherlands is a crucial one and we are practicing hard. Earlier, few of our players were not doing well with their fitness which became a matter of concern. But now, as they are showing signs of recovery, it is a great relief for the team,” New Zealand coach Grant Edwards said Wednesday.

Talking about their opponents, Edwards added: “Netherlands is a very skilful team and the players have shown excellent skills throughout the tournament. They do praiseworthy job while passing the ball and have experts in penalty corners. Players in their team like Pelle Vos and Pepijn Luijkx could be a challenge for us.

“We have done a thorough analysis of our video footages to improve our moves in the game and play with perfection. As tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) match will decide our further journey in this tournament, the team is under pressure but we will make sure that this does not affect the team’s performance.”

IANS