Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: The Indian dream continues




The Indian colts mounted a dramatic comeback to beat Spain 2-1 and reach the Semi Finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup 2016. Spurred on by a highly enthusiastic home crowd, India overturned a 1-0 deficit with two goals in the second half.

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: The Indian dream continues

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: The Indian dream continues

A beautiful strike by Pol Parrilla was deftly tapped into the goal by Marc Serrahima to put the visitors in front at the 22nd minute. India, who were favourites going into the match with three straight wins and pole position in their Pool, were now trailing for the first time in the tournament. The home side dominated in the early stages of the match and created several chances but some great defending by the Spanish goalkeeper Albert Perez ensured that it was 1-0 to Spain at halftime.

India responded with relentless attacking in the second half, including 5 circle entries in 6 minutes.  However it wasn’t until the 57th minute that Simranjeet Singh struck from close range, tapping in a rebound off the Spanish goalkeeper to score his second goal of the tournament and bring India level.  The usually composed Harenda Singh could be seen fist pumping on the sidelines.

The Spanish defence was repeatedly tested after this, with Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar both forcing saves in succession.

Passions ran high after a Penalty Corner was given away by Perez with 5 minutes remaining and the score tied at 1-1. Harmanpreet Singh grabbed the opportunity and scored the winning goal with a deadly PC strike.

Spain, who are known to score as late as the 69th minute, pushed hard to find a leveller with a number of counter attacks. However, India managed to hold onto its slender lead. The joy was evident after the final whistle, with Harmanpreet Singh falling to his knees and the ecstatic crowd at Major Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium on its feet. India will now face Australia in the Semi Finals on Friday. Belgium and Germany will face off in the other Semi-Final.

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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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