India’s dreams of yet another FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup title came to a close after the team was handed a 2-4 defeat by 6-time winners of the title, Germany.
The Indian team was playing defensive Hockey in the first half and were thoroughly punished because of that. The Boys in Blue were simply overwhelmed by Germany’s aggressive game play and in the end lost the encounter, 2-4, in the second semifinal of the FIH Odisha Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup.
Germany started off with a brilliant aggressive style of play and won their first penalty corner in the 5th minute of the match. But in-form Prashant Chouhan deflected a powerful shot away from the goal post. The Germans secured their second penalty corner of the match, in the final minute of the first quarter. Erik Kleinlein clinically converted it to open the account for Germany.
Germany held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Indians were dominated by Germany’s fast paced game and quick passing. The Germans carried their momentum into the second quarter as well with Philip Holzmueller to doubling the lead.
Three minutes later India conceded yet another goal, this time by the German skipper Hannes Muller. After that India made a strong comeback when Manjeet put India’s name on the scoresheet. However, the happiness was short-lived and only after a minute Germany earned a penalty stroke, which Mitchel Struthoff converted.
Indian colts got some opportunities but the German defence stuck to their tasks and made sure that there were no goals scored in the third quarter. In the final minute of the match Dhami Boby Singh scored a second goal for India, but it was simply too late. The goal was nothing more than a consolation and made the score 4-2, in favour of Germany.
Germany will face off against Argentina in the grand final of the premier tournament. Argentina beat France 3-1, in a penalty shoot-out, in the first semifinal. India will play France in the third-place play off.