Indian colts clinch Junior WC after 15 years in front of packed crowd with 2-1 win over Belgium
Playing in front of a vociferous crowd cheering for India, Belgium knew what was in store for them within minutes of the start of the Junior Hockey World Cup final here at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Sunday.
The Belgian boys were finding it hard to find their feet in front of a hostile crowd. With the Indian colts earning two penalty corners — but wasting both — in the first six minutes, it was only a question of when the hosts will get on board. Knowing that no host country has been able to with the cup in its 10 editions, India chose to “reverse” the trend over the next 15 minutes.
The Indians launched the attack from the word go. And after those two missed penalty corner chances, Gurjant Singh chose a tried and tested way to enter his name into the history books.
It was Sumit, in fact, whose scoop was taken on the chest by Belgian goalkeeper Charles Masset and Gurjant was right on his left side waiting for the opportunity. An identical reverse shot, like the one he scored against Australia about 48 hours earlier in the semifinals, put India into the lead in the eighth minute of the game.
The reverse flick was once again on display as it was the turn of Simranjeet Singh to use this style in the 22nd minute when Nilakanta Sharma pushed one to Gurjant inside the penalty circle. Having been marked by an opponent defender, Gurjant passed it gently to Simranjeet on the left again for the latter to find the back of the net.
With India now sitting pretty at 2-0, there was no stopping the fans from raising their decibel levels. Belgium, though, scored a late consolation goal through Fabrice van Bockrijck’s penalty corner conversion after the hooter, but it was a case of too little too late.
India thus defeated Belgium 2-1 to lift the title for the second time and broke the jinx of no host country having ever won it.
Belgium can only go back with a consolation of the low, for the way the Indians dominated the entire 70-minute game, the outcome could have been much worse. The domination from India was such that Belgium got their first target on the Indian goal only in the 29th minute through a penalty corner.
The second half was a repeat of first one as the Indians continue to raid the opponent half repeatedly.
It was India’s third appearance in the finals, having lost 2-3 to Australia in 1997 but winning the next edition in 2001.
Result: India 2 (Gurjant Singh 8, Simranjeet Singh, 22) bt Belgium 1 (Fabrice Van Bockrijck 70)
GERMANY SETTLE FOR BRONZE
Two-time defending champions Germany settled for a bronze after defeating Australia 3-0 in the bronze-medal playoff match. Earlier, Argentina edged past Spain 2-1 to finish fifth, while The Netherlands drubbed England 6-2 to end seventh.
Source by dnaindia…