- India was knocked down by France (4-5) initially but reclaimed form by defeating Canada with a lofty goal difference of 13-1
- India, on Saturday, trounced Poland and marched into the quarterfinals with an 8-2 win.
- India will face Belgium in the next stage
FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021, kicked off on 24th November, as scheduled in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is set to witness 16 finest teams from across the world contending for the title which was formerly clinched by India in 2016. Hockey India declared the names of all the 18 members of the team who will compete for the title
The Indian Junior Men’s Team will perform under the captaincy of Vivek Sagar Prasad, a former Bronze medallist at the Olympics with Sanjay, player of the U-18 team that bagged the silver at Youth Olympic Games 2018.
France shunned the defending champions, India handing them a 4-5 defeat in the opening match. However, India came back stronger in the second one where they faced Canada and fared 13-1 gaining a superior goal difference. India encountered Poland on Saturday in the final match in Pool B.
India and Poland were on three points each after the two preliminary matches, but India lead with a goal difference. France with 1st position on the standings with a score of 6 from 2 games is certain of securing a place in the quarters.
Defender Sanjay Kumar along with forwards, Araijeet Singh and Sudeep Chirmako crushed Poland by scoring a brace each. After racking up hat-tricks in the initial two games, vice-captain Sanjay Kumar (4th, 58th) kept at chalking up goals for India, alongside Hundal (8th, 60th) who smashed a hat-trick against Canada also set down his name on the scoresheet.
Among the others who scored goals for the hosts in the Pool B game were Chirmako (24th, 40th), Uttam Singh (34th) ad Shardanand Tiwari ( 38th). Wojciech Rutkowski (50th) and Robert Pawlak (54th) of Poland, pulled off goals in the fourth and final quarter.
In the first quarterfinal to be held on 1st December, India will fight the runners up of the 2016 world cup. Indians in the must-win match against Poland put pressure on the defender’s goal right from the start.
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Star flicker, Sanjay, in the fourth minute of the match scored his 7th tournament goal with a penalty. The team continued with their confrontational approach and within the next 4 minutes managed to score another penalty corner from Hundal.
Forward, Sudeep Chirmako took the scoreboard to 3-0 with a field goal in the 24th minute. 4 minutes ahead of halftime, Uttam Singh with his field strike added a goal in India’s favour. Shardanand Tiwari, in the 38th minute, shot up the score to 5-0 with his penalty corner goal.
Sudeep, yet again, scored in the 40th minute, following which, the Polish players charged in the final quarter and acquired a stream of penalty corners. Despite managing to score 2 goals in an attempt to reduce the margin, India’s Sanjay and Hundal recorded a vehement win for the hosts.