Caldas expects tough match against Speedy Tigers

BHUBANESWAR: In the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Maximiliano Caldas coached Netherlands to a silver medal.

And today he will be planning for a Spain win against Malaysia at the same Kalinga Stadium when the two sides meet in a crossover match at the ongoing Hockey World Cup.

  Max, as he is fondly known, has the youngest team in this World Cup and his assessment of Malaysia indicates that Spain is going to have a torrid time.

  "Leading to the World Cup, Spain played in the Pro-League at the Kalinga Stadium against India and the match ended 2-2 (in November)," said Max today.

"After that we have been largely training three times a week as my players also compete for their own clubs in the league and are scattered across the country.

  "We have the youngest team in this World Cup and it has been fun working with them as we plan together on what to do. I listen to their views as much as they listen to mine.

  "On the match against Malaysia, it going to be a tough crossover as its a do-or-die for both sides.

  "We look forward to play against Malaysia who have been a very disciplined team. They have a good structure and are a very thorough team (in every department).

  "When they played New Zealand and were on the losing side (Malaysia were briefly tied 2-2 with New Zealand but  needed to win to go through) they still played their own style regardless of whether they were winning or losing.

"It is a sign of maturity even though Malaysia are also a relatively young side.

  "So its going to be a very interesting match and and I trust my boys to give their best."

As a player, Max had competed for Argentina in the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.

  Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj had also said the same about his players as they did not 'collapse' when the score was tied 2-2 against Chile and New Zealand but played their own style and won 3-2 in both matches.

  Speedy Tigers will play world No 8 Spain at 7pm Malaysian time today and a win will not only place them in the quarter-finals against Australia, but will also elevate their world rankings.

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