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India to face Egypt first

April 23, 2005 19:01 IST

India would start their title defence in the junior World Cup hockey tournament in Rotterdam, Holland with a match against Egypt on June 29.

India, who won the title in Australia four years back, have been pitted in Pool D of the mega event alongwith Egypt, hosts Holland and Poland.

In the league stage of the 16-nation competition India, who have been given the fourth ranking, would face Polland on June 30 and the hosts on July two, the Indian Hockey Federation said.

The Pool A has England, Spain, Korea and Mexico, while the Pool B consists of Argentina, Germany, Malaysia and South Africa.

Pakistan, Australia, Chile and Belgium are in Pool C.

According to the format of the tournament, the top three sides from each pool would move to the next stage.

The points they earn in the opening round would be carried forward to the next stage, which will have two groups -- E and F -- with both having six teams each.

The top two teams from the Pool E and F would play the semifinals while the rest would play the classification matches.

The play-off for final placings would be held on July nine while the final would be played the next day.

Spain have been given top billing in the tournament followed by Germany and Australia.

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