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Rediff.com  » Sports » Youth Olympics: Indian men's, women's teams enter hockey final

Youth Olympics: Indian men's, women's teams enter hockey final

October 14, 2018 12:34 IST

IMAGE: The Indian women's hockey team celebrate. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

The Indian men's and women's teams advanced to the final of hockey 5s competition in the Youth Olympics after registering emphatic wins over their respective opponents in Buenos Aires.

India defeated hosts Argentina 3-1 in the men's semi-final match on Saturday while the women's team beat China 3-0 in their last-four match.

 

The Indian men face Malaysia in the title clash while their women counterparts take on hosts Argentina in the final.

This is the first time India is taking part in a hockey competition in the Youth Olympics. The country did not feature in the earlier two editions.

Hockey 5s, the five-a-side version, is played on a pitch smaller than the normal 11-player game and it was introduced in the 2014 Singapore Youth Olympics.

In the men's semis, Sudeep Chirmako (12th and 18th minute) and Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (3th) scored for India while captain Facundo Zarate found the target for Argentina.

India took the lead through Rahul Kumar but Argentina were quick to equalise as they scored through Facundo Zarate in the fourth minute.

Both the teams had chances in the remaining six minutes of the first period but their goalkeepers made some fine saves to keep the scores locked at 1-1 at half-time.

In the second period, India maintained pressure and benefited from it as they took the lead in the 12th minute through Sudeep Chirmako who produced a fine finish to swing the match in India's favour.

IMAGE: The Indian men's beat Argentina in the semis to book their place in the final. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

Indian goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan kept his team in the lead as he was called into action again in the next few minutes to deny the hosts an equaliser.

The Indian attackers also created chances and were successful again in the 18th minute as Sudeep Chirmako scored his second goal of the match to double the lead.

Argentina tried to make a comeback in the dying minutes but the Indians stood firm and kept the home team at bay.

In the women's semi-final, India outplayed their Chinese opponents with goals coming from Mumtaz Khan (1st minute), Reet (5th) and Lalremsiami (13th).

India dominated the match right from the start as they put pressure on the Chinese defence by keeping majority of the possession.

The Indian team was rewarded for their efforts as Mumtaz Khan scored just after 52 seconds. Even after that, India kept the possession and created several chances from inside and outside the 11-metres area.

A few minutes, midfielder Reet make a fierce shot from the half-way line, which beat the Chinese goalkeeper Xinyi Zhu on her right and gave India a 2-0 lead.

China tried to create opportunities in the remaining few minutes but Indian defenders were up to their task as their side took the two-goal advantage into the half-time break.

India dominated the second period as well, finding space in the opposition's half and kept creating chances for themselves.

In the 13th minute, it was forward Lalremsiami who was stopped from taking a shot by a Chinese player, which meant that India were awarded a Penalty Challenge. Lalremsiami converted it as she scored her eighth goal of the competition as India cruised to victory.

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