India go down to Australia<BR>
October 15, 2001

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India go down to Australia

Our Correspondent

India's chances of making the semi-finals in the men's junior World Cup hockey tournament appeared slim after they were beaten 1-2 by defending champions Australia in their second match of the second stage of the tournament, at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre, in Hobart, Australia, on Monday.

The Australians, who were beaten 2-4 by the Netherlands on Sunday, recovered from a goal in arrears to keep their chances alive

India, who drew 2-2 with Argentina on Sunday, will have to beat the Netherlands by a big margin in their concluding match on Wednesday and hope that results in the other matches in the group don't go on expected lines.

The match, which was crucial for both teams, was a thriller from the start, with both sides displaying good skills and hard-running. After a goalless, fast-paced first-half, India went ahead in the 39th minute through a penalty-corner, which was awarded after skipper Gagan Ajit Singh was hit on the face by Liam de Young while making his way into the Aussie circle. After Gagan was carried off the field for medical attention, Jugraj Singh's drag flick was on target from an indirect penalty-corner variation.

The goal saw the Australians launch a feverish search for a reply. They were rewarded for their efforts as the Indian defence needlessly back-pedalled in an effort to defend the early second half lead. A penalty-corner in the 44th minute saw Australian captain Craig Victory beat Indian goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan with a high flick.

A goal apiece, play became a bit scrappy with players using stop-at-all-cost tactics. India had their chances to swing the match their way but their forwards, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh in particular, were erratic inside the circle.

Australia came up with a swift move down the middle in the 58th minute to score what turned out to be the match-winner. It was a clever one-two, which split open the Indian defence. Geoffrey Boyce set up the goal, passing to Travis Brooks, who sold a dummy and turned around to find Josh Hawes welll-positioned inside the circle. Hawes, without delay, slammed past the Indian keeper.

The India forwardline pressed hard thereafter but were unable to beat goalkeeper Leon Martin, who had a good match. They even forced four penalty-corners in the last five minutes but the Aussies had the numbers in defence to hold on and score their first victory in the four-team Pool F, from which two go through to the semi-finals.

In other matches, England drew with Spain 2-2 in Pool E, Scotland beat Chile 3-2 and Ireland beat Canada 2-1.

England rally to hold Spain

Spain held the edge in a goalless first half, during which Eduard Tubau and Alberto Esteban failed to capitalise on at least three good chances to put them ahead.

In the second session, England broke the ice, scoring through Jonty Clarke in the 47th minute before Santiago Freixa could restore parity for Spain in the 54th minute.

Eduard Tubau then converted a penalty-stroke for Spain before Richard Mantell could score the equaliser for England seven minutes from the end.

Scotland win with late goal

A goal in the dying seconds saw Scotland beat Chile 3-2 in Pool H.

Chile were a goal up at the stroke of half-time, when Esteben Krainz put them ahead from a penalty-corner much against the run of play. But Scotland levelled the score eight minutes into the second half through David Stott.

But Chile, who were at the receiving end for much of the first half, displayed better control and regained the lead four minutes later through Alan Stein. They held on to the lead till six minutes from the end when David Stott equalised for the Scots, who launched a relentless attack.

The fast pace of the game told on the Chile players and Scotland seized the advantage to get the match-winner with a little less than ten seconds to go, when Steven Glass deflected home a cross from the left.

Ireland down Canada 2-1

Ireland picked full points from their Pool G match, defeating Canada 2-1.

After a scoreless first-half, which was dominated by the Irish, Ireland went ahead in the 47th minute off their ninth penalty-corner, through Michael Harte, who deflected the ball home from an indirect variation.

David Eakins converted a penalty-stroke in the 53rd minute to make it 2-0, before Jessie Kaloti could reduce the margin from a good individual run in the 58th minute.

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

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