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Rediff.com  » Sports » Dominant India down Belgium to lift Jr Hockey World Cup title

Dominant India down Belgium to lift Jr Hockey World Cup title

Last updated on: December 18, 2016 23:12 IST

The triumphant Indian junior hockey team with the trophy after winning the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow on Sunday

IMAGE: The triumphant Indian junior hockey team with the trophy after winning the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow on Sunday. Photograph: Hockey India

India won the gold medal in the Junior Hockey World Cup after defeating Belgium 2-1 at the Major Dyan Chand stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.

Congratulate India's Jr Hockey team for World Cup win!

India, who won the tournament in Hobart in 2001, became the first team to win the competition on home soil.

India scored in the 8th minute through a field goal when Gurjant Singh found the net from an acute angle. The hosts doubled their lead when Simranjeet gave India the second on the break in the 22nd minute.

Drag flicker Fabrice van Bockrijck converted the penalty corner, a late consolation goal for the Belgians in the 70th minute.

Dominant from the word go, India went on the attack from start, dominating possession and keeping the Belgian defence on their toes.

India went up in the 8th minute through a field goal. Gurjant Singh found the net from an acute angle scoring from the near post, smashing the ball over the Belgian keeper Loic Van Doren’s shoulder, through a reverse hit.

This was only the fourth goal that the Belgians had conceded in the tournament.

India kept pressing early on and had 2 shots on goal and 8 circle entries within 10 minutes of play.

India played a lot of long balls and looked menacing.

India and Belgium players vie for possession during the Jr World Cup Hockey final in Lucknow on Sunday

IMAGE: India and Belgium players vie for possession during the Jr World Cup Hockey final in Lucknow on Sunday. Photograph: PTI

India's Parvinder showed flashes of brilliance up front and was nearly doubled the hosts' lead.

With the stadium packed to capacity, India had the crowds playing 12th man in the game.

Belgium slowly tried to get into the match and even made a couple of forays into the circle but lacked the finishing touch.

Simranjeet gave India the second goal on the break in the 22nd minute. He collected the ball on the left and dragged the ball past the Belgian keeper.

India continued to pile the pressure on the Belgians but with under 5 minutes to go for the first half, Belgian were awarded the penalty corner.

But it meant nothing because it was shot wide. Belgium were measured in their approach late in the first half but their shortcomings in defence were apparent throughout the opening half.

Both teams took time to take off at the change of ends.

India grew in confidence with each passing moment, pressing for the ball, dispossessing the Belgians from time to time.

Belgium tried hard to match India and made forays into the D but were intercepted well by the hosts’ defence.

India's Gurjant Singh celebrates on scoring the opening goal against Belgium

IMAGE: India's Gurjant Singh celebrates on scoring the opening goal against Belgium. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

The Belgian defence also looked a lot sharper in the second half, not allowing India to make smooth runs into the D.

India had their share of pressure from the Belgians but kept them at bay. Belgium had their chances, playing faster but were thwarted by the sturdy Indian defence.

Vikas Dahiya made a big save in the 53rd minute to deny Belgium. India won a penalty corner in the 13th minute, taken by Simranjeet but could not capitalise.

Armaan Qureshi and Harmanpreet was outstanding, feeding the ball to the players upfront. Belgium held momentum in spurts but India looked menacing on the counter. Belgium looked for a comeback but India kept the visitors at bay.

With 15 seconds left, the Europeans won two late penalty corners and converted one to cut the goal margin.

Earlier, six-time champions and title holders Germany had to contend themselves with the bronze medal after outclassing Australia 3-0 in the third-fourth place play-off match.

The Germans, who were the two-time defending champions, took the lead in the 11th minute through Jan Schiffer’s brilliant field strike.

The Germans then rode on Tim Herbruch’s brace (51st, 60th) to take a commanding 3-0 lead which the Australians failed to match.

Earlier in the day, Argentina defeated Spain 2-1 to claim the fifth spot in the tournament, while Netherlands drubbed England 6-2 to finish seventh.

The Argentines took the lead in the in the 51st minute through a field goal from Nicolas Keenan before Tomas Domene (54th) doubled the lead three minutes later from a penalty corner.

Spain, thereafter, pushed hard in search of goals and managed to pull one back through Marc Perellon’s (67th) field strike just three minutes from the final hooter.

In the seventh-eighth place classification match, the Dutch scored through Thijs van Dam (22nd), Thierry Brinkman (41st, 68th), Bram van Groesen (56th, 69th) and Morris de Vilder (65th), while Tom Sorsby (55th, 66th) scored a brace for the Englishmen.

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