Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India beat Australia to reach final




India edged out Australia in a thrilling contest to reach the Finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup 2016. The hosts won 4-2 in a Shoot-Out after the match ended tied at 2-2 in regulation time.

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India beat Australia to reach final

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India beat Australia to reach final

India once again conceded the first goal as Tom Craig put the Kookaburras ahead, smashing in a rebound in the 14th minute. The visitors won a number of Penalty Corners in the first half and had the opportunity to double the lead. Some good defending by India, particularly goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya’s diving effort, ensured that the boys in blue trailed by a single goal at half time. The Aussie keeper Thomas was also tested by Harmanpreet Singh towards the end of the first half, but did well to save it.

Gurjant Singh brought the hosts back in the game in the 42nd minute, making a brisk run towards the goal before scoring with a brilliant reverse hit to make it 1-1 and drive the home crowd wild. Mandeep Singh scored India’s second goal not long after, with an incredible field goal.

The Aussies were quick to regroup and almost equalized from the Penalty Corner, forcing the Indian goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya to make another spectacular save. However, Lachlan Sharp’s deflection in the 57th minute proved to be unstoppable and the score was once again tied.

In the Shoot Out, keeper Dahiya again proved to be the hero, making two crucial saves in succession. Sumit, Harmanpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh and Manpreet Singh all scored to ensure India won 4-2 at the end of a well-contested match and kept their dream of becoming champions alive.

They will now take on Belgium, who beat defending champions Germany 4-3 on penalties, in the Final clash on 18th December.  Senior players like Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh were quick to congratulate the Indian colts.  Hockey India has announced a cash prize of INR 5 Lakhs per player if they win the title.

Author:

Second-year student at Delhi University and die-hard sports fan. Apart from screaming at my television screen, I enjoy reading, photography and rocking out to Queen.

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