Sunday , April 21 2019

India hold nerve to enter Jr World Cup final after 15 years

India came from a goalmouth to pip out Australia 4-2 through the shootout in a exciting contest and come in men’s Junior Hockey World Cup finale.


Lucknow: Favorites India came from a goal to pip out Australia 4-2 through the shootout in a exciting contest and come in the finale of the men’s Junior Hockey World Cup next to a pause of 15 years in Major Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium here on Saturday.

India, who had previously won the Junior World Cup in 2001 in Hobart, is on a task to regain the title and will see Belgium in the meeting clash on Sunday.

The hordes had scored two expert field goals in the 2nd half over Gurjant Singh (42nd minute) and Mandeep Singh (48th) after Australia had taken the lead over Tom Craig (14th).

When it was time to stop the game, the Indian defence approved a soft goal and Lachlan Sharp (57th) illustrated the level for Australia to take the game into shoot-out after the players were locked at 2-2 at the close of regulation time.

The Indians, moreover, were experimental in the shoot-out with skipper Harjeet Singh, Sumit, Harmanpreet Singh, and Manpreet (Jr) ruling the back of the net former the Australian guardian.

Today, India’s final rivals Belgium stunned six-time winners and title holders Germany 4-3 in the shootout in the semifinal to enter the contest final for the first time.

Belgium had ridden on their custodian Loic van Doren’s excellent display in the shoot-out to record the distressed win after the two crews had failed to break the deadlock in regulation 70 min.

Van Doren had made two vivid saves in the shoot-out to deny Germany’s Tim Herzbruch and Philip Schimid.

In the 2nd semifinal, India had the better share of control in the inaugural half but it was Australia who utilized their probabilities.

It appeared Australia took a signal from the Spaniards as they barely gave any space to the Indians, relying mostly on man to man pattern.

Australia had utilized the initial chance they got in the contest. The Burras got their opening drawback corner in the 13th minute and Tom Craig had scored from the third effort with a contrary shot from close sort after the first flick and rebound were hoarded by the Indian defence.

Australia had secured two successive penalty crooks in the 22nd minute but this time Indian goalkeeper Dahiya came to his flank’s rescue to refute Blake Govers from the 2nd attempt.

India had pushed hard and minutes later got two back to back penalty crooks but Harmanpreet Singh had botched to find the back of the net on both times.

In 32nd minute, Varun Kumar had found Vikramjit Singh in the circle but the latter’s shot went straightforward to Australian goalkeeper Ashleigh Thomas.

The hosts had their finest opportunity of the inaugural half in the next minute when Varun’s extended scoop from deep had found Simranjeet Singh unmarked inside the circle after an Australian guard groped, but the protester pushed eclectic with only the competing guardian to beat.

Trailing by a goalmouth, India went all out aggressive in search of the equalizer and their exertions bore fruit in the 42nd minute over a violent reverse shot strike from Gurjant from a snug angle after he was fixed up by Simranjeet’s bright play.

Driven up by the equalizer, the Indians had gone for the kill and 6 min later took the head through Mandeep, who had scored his 3rd goal of the contest.

The credit for India’s 2nd goal completely should go to Mandeep who had first interrupted an Australian defender’s miss-scoop and then frolicked little one-two with Nilkanta Singh afore unleashing a converse hit beneath the Australia guardian into the board.

Shocked by India’s strike, Australia had went into aggressive mode and in the process fortified two consecutive consequence corners, the 2nd of which was radiantly parried away by Vikas in front of the Indian goalmouth.

Ten minutes from last hooter, Parvinder Singh came near but his piercing deflection from Dipasn Tirkey’s defence piercing pass was kept missing by a supple Australian goalkeeper Thomas.

Just 6 minutes from time, Australia had secured one more penalty corner but again Vikas had stood tall to keep away Blake Gover’s beached riffle.

Subsequently both the teams vexed hard for the champion but they failed to break each other apologetic line to take the meet into a shoot-out, where the Indian remained a calm head to arise winners.


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