Junior Hockey World Cup: How India's defence surprised Belgians
India showed incredible skill in Wednesday's thrilling encounter. But it was the dogged defence that the took the Belgians by surprise.
Indian colts put up a stunning display against Belgium to win the Junior Hockey World Cup match 1-0 on Wednesday. With this win, India has entered the semi-finals of the tournament being held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. India's Sharada Nand Tiwary scored the lone goal for India by converting a penalty corner to secure a place in the semi-finals. India will face off against Germany on Friday.
India showed incredible skill in Wednesday's thrilling encounter. But it was the dogged defence that took the Belgians by surprise. India did not allow a single Belgian shot to turn into a goal. Goalkeeper Pawan played a brilliant role in India's victory. He thwarted several penalty corners taken by Belgium.
At the same time, Sharada Nand Tiwary took advantage of the penalty corner in the 20th minute and scored the only goal for his team. Belgium then got a penalty corner in the 26th minute but Jeff de Winter's flick went out. Later in the 50th minute, India's goalkeeper Pawan intercepted Roman Duvecott's shot with a dive. Belgium got penalty corners in the 52nd minute and 2 minutes before the end of the game, but India did not let them take advantage of it and won the match 1-0.
None of the Belgian forwards was able to penetrate the Indian defence. If ever this match will be remembered in the history of Indian hockey, it will be remembered for the way India defended. This was India's fifth consecutive win over Belgium in the Junior Hockey World Cup. To recall, in the last Junior World Cup, India became the world champion by defeating Belgium 2-1.
India now faces Germany in the semi-finals on December 3. Germany won the bronze medal last time and has won the junior world cup six times. Germany has shown a great game in this tournament as well. Germany defeated Spain 3-1 in a penalty shootout in their quarterfinal match. The match was tied at 2-2 till the stipulated time. On Friday, the second semi-final match will be between France and Argentina. The final match will be played on Sunday.