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India to take on Mexico in Olympic qualifier

Mexico had replaced Egypt in the tournament after the latter withdrew due to financial constraints in competing in the event from March 1 to 9.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2008 18:06 IST

The Indian hockey team will start its Olympic Qualification campaign against Mexico on March 1 in a six-nation tournament in Chile.

Mexico had replaced Egypt in the tournament after the latter withdrew due to financial constraints in competing in the event from March 1 to 9.

According to the draw released by the Indian Hockey Federation here, former Olympic champion India's toughest match against England has been slated for March 6.

The tournament winner will earn a berth for the Beijing Olympics. Each of the six teams in the fray will play five matches and the winner will be spotted on the last day of the tournament on March 9.

After the inaugural match against Mexico, India will take on Bangladesh on March 2. After a day's rest, India will be up against hosts Chile.

March 5 and 7 have also been declared rest days in the nine-day tournament after which India plays its last tie against Austria.

At the end of the single league phase, the top two finishers will clash for the title and the berth for the Beijing Olympics.

Following is the schedule:

March 1: India vs Mexico, Englan vs Bangladesh, Chile vs Austria;

March 2: India vs Bangladesh, England vs Austria, Mexico vs Chile;

March 4: Mexico vs England, Austria vs Bangladesh, Chile vs India;

March 6: Austria vs Mexic England vs India, Bangladesh vs Chile;

March 8:India vs Austria, Bangladesh vs Mexico, Chile vs England;

March 9: Placing matches.