October 9, 2001

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Flying start for India juniors

Our Correspondent

Runners-up in the last edition of the tournament, India began their campaign in the seventh junior men's hockey World Cup on a rousing note, beating Canada 5-0 on the opening day of the tournament in Hobart, Australia, on Tuesday.

A brace of goals each by Prabhjot Singh and Jugraj Singh was the highlight of the concluding match of the day's schedule.

As the scoreline indicates, India were streets superior and often ran circles around the Canadian defence. Had they done a little better in finishing on the several chances that came their way, as also not relaxing the pace, they could have won by a much bigger margin.

Deepak Sonkhla Thakur opened the scoring for India in the 11th minute following a scramble in the circle. That opened the floodgates as Prabhjot Singh was on target within minutes. The gangling forward displayed some good stickwork as he worked his way into the circle from the left and despatched a stiff reverse hit that had the Canadian defence watching even as the ball entered the goal.

Prabhjot struck again in 25th minute to make it 3-0. It was again a brilliant field goal, again from a reverse hit from the top left of the cricle.

India earned three penalty-corners in the first half but wasted them as they failed to stop the ball cleanly.

Three goals up at the breather, India relaxed in the second session but still managed to score two more goals.

Jugraj Singh made the scoreline 4-0 in the 42nd minute, scoring from a drag flick off India's fourth penalty-corner and then rounded off the tally in the 55th minute after the Canadians were reduced to ten men in the 51st minute when Aneal Basi was shown the yellow card.

Champions Australia held by Ireland

Defending champions Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by Ireland in the second match of the day.

The Australians were a shade better and dominated the first 20 minutes of play during which they went ahead in the 12th minute through Nathan Eglington from a penalty-corner variation. They had chances to increase the lead but commited sily mistakes when ideally placed to score.

A goal down, Ireland came up with some clever, skillful hockey in the second half and backed it up with some hard running off the ball. Play hotted up and the Australians paid the price for some hard tackling. They were forced to play for almost 15 minutes of the half with nine men as two of their players were sent off after receiving yellow cards.

Ireland restored parity in the 46th minute. From a clever penalty-corner variation, Davbid Hobbs sent the ball home past a host of defenders.

Australia coach Colin Batch was clearly unhappy with the poor start. "There wasn't enough urgency by our players," he said, adding his boys were "a bit anxious".

He said there will have to much improvement in midfield play and finishing when they take on Chile in their second match on Wednesday.

England too good for Chile

In the opening match of the tournament, a brace of goals by Martin Jones saw England rout Chile 5-2.

England were two goals up within five minutes, with Jonty Clarke opening the scoring from a field goal in the second minute and Jones increasing the lead through a penalty-stroke in the fourth.

Gabriel Thiermann pulled one back for Chile in the 10th minute as he deflected the ball home from a penalty-croner.

Thereafter play was confined to midfield as Chile packed their defence and adopted stop-at-all-cost tactics.

However, England started the second session like the first, with Jones doing well to score from a field goal to make the scoreline 3-1 in the 37th minute.

Richard Mantell made it 4-1 in the 49th minute while James Webber completed the rout in the 61st minute, five minutes before Alan Stein could slip the ball under the England keeper's pads and reduce the margin for Chile.

Spain whip Scotland 8-0

Pablo Quemada and Santiago Freixa scored thrice as Spain began their campaign with a bang, whipping a hapless Scotland 8-0 in the third match of the day's programme.

Quemada scored twice from penalty-corner drag flicks, in the seventh and 67th minutes, and once from field goal, in the 52th minute, while Freixa scored in the 26th, 40th and 50th minutes.

Eduard Tabau got the other two goals for Spain, scoring field goals in the 14th and 32nd minutes.

Complete Coverage: 7th Junior Men's World Cup 2001

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