Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup: India hammer Poland, to face Belgium in quarterfinals | Hockey News – Times of India


India earned a comfortable 8-2 win against Poland in their last group game of the Junior Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. And, as expected, they finished second in Group B and will take on Belgium in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. It will be a replay of the 2016 Junior Hockey World Cup final when India beat Belgium to win the title for the second time.
For India, Sanjay, Sudeep Chirmako and Araijeet Singh Hundal scored two goals each while Uttam Singh and Sharda Nand Tiwari sounded the board once. As for Poland, Robert Pawlak and Wojciech Rutkowski scored the two goals.
Despite the easy win, there will be a lot for coach Graham Reid to ponder on ahead of their quarterfinal tie. First, India’s defence remained a big worry despite the scoreline.

Poland won as many as seven penalty corners and had an equal number of shots on goal. It’s a different matter that they couldn’t convert their chances but India looked really shaky in the fourth quarter when Poland scored both their goals.
Also, India lacked a lot in discipline and were shown as many as five cards – two green and three yellow – on Saturday. It might become a worry for India when they face a quality side like Belgium.
Finally, the injury sustained in the match by Maninder Singh will be a huge cause of concern for the Indian team. Maninder had been in great form throughout the tournament but just as the first quarter was coming to an end, he pulled his right hamstring and couldn’t continue to play. It was so bad that he had to be stretchered off the filed.
The good thing is that there are three days to go before the quarterfinal tie. The other positive is that India’s positioning has improved inside the D but as Reid said after the match, there’s always room for more improvement.

India took the lead as early as in the 4th minute after Sanjay scored from India’s first PC of the match. They didn’t have to wait too long for their second as four minutes later Hundal converted India’s third PC.
With the first quarter coming to an end, Poland did win a PC but Julian Blaszkiewicz’s shot was easily kept out by India goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan.
As the second quarter began, India started pressing high and it was Sudeep who came close to sounding the board a couple of time before finally scoring the third from the edge of the D in the 24th minute. India could have scored more but Polish goalkeeper Maciej Wieczorek made some good saves to keep the hosts at bay.
In the third quarter, even as Poland tried to find their footing, the Indians were in no mood to ease the pressure and Uttam made it 4-0 following a brilliant run by Vivek Sagar Prasad down the left flank. Sharda then scored the fifth from India’s fifth penalty corner and Sudeep made it 6-0 with a brilliant hit into the top left corner.

Malyasia join Belgium in quarterfinals
Both Belgium and Malaysia booked their quarterfinal berths on Saturday after they won their respective matches in Group A of the Junior Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Malaysia, who held Belgium in their last game, earned a nail-biting 4-3 win against South Africa in an ill-tempered affair. Every time Malaysia took the lead, South Africa equalized. But the Wallace Tan-coached side did not give up and earned the win after Akhimullah Anuar scored the decisive goal with four minutes remaining on the clock.
Belgium, meanwhile, beat Chile 3-0 later in the day. They missed a host of chances but they still got the job done as Chile finished the group stage with three losses from as many matches.
With the win Belgium earned seven points, similar to that of Malaysia, but finished on top because of a better goal difference.
Earlier, Pakistan beat Egypt 3-1 in Group D. Since they had lost to Germany in their first game, whether they qualify for the quarters will only be known after their last match against Argentina on Sunday.
France also kept up their good show as they scored a dominating 11-1 victory against Canada. Captain Timothee Clement scored his second hattrick of the event as they finished on top of Group B having won all their group matches.

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