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Hockey

FIH Men’s Junior World Cup: India beats Netherlands 4-3 in a thrilling quarterfinal game

Uttam Singh-led team came from behind to seal a semifinal berth. India will face Germany in the last four.

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team
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Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team (Source: Hockey India)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 12 Dec 2023 6:52 AM GMT

The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team produced a spectacular display of grit and character to beat the Netherlands 4-3 in a thrilling quarterfinal clash at the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Malaysia after trailing 0-2 at half-time and 3-2 in the third quarter.

In a match that lived up to the billing of a quarterfinal encounter between world no.3 India and world no.4 Netherlands, India exhibited immense resilience to qualify for the semifinals where they will take on Germany on December 14.

The Netherlands set the ball rolling early in the first quarter with a penalty corner conversion from Timo Boers (5’). Despite the Indian side playing a solid defence, Pepijn van der Heijden (16’) scored for the Netherlands in the second quarter through another penalty corner conversion taking their lead to 2-0 at half-time.

India came back strongly in the third quarter with a goal from Aditya Lalage (34’) assisted by Araijeet Singh Hundal. Two minutes later Araijeet scored the equaliser for India with a penalty stroke.

The Indian boys kept the pressure on the Dutch but they managed yet another penalty corner that was converted by Olivier Hortensius (44’) late in the third quarter as the Dutch snatched a narrow lead of one goal at the end of the third quarter.

With less than ten minutes remaining, the Indians raised the tempo of their game and it proved fruitful as Sourabh Anand Kushwaha (52’) found the back of the net off a rebound following a brilliant attack to get the score reading 3-3.

Another opportunity for a penalty corner conversion was created, this time in favour of India, and they made full use of it with captain Uttam Singh (57’) scoring to put India ahead with just three minutes left. With just a couple of minutes left on the clock, the pressure was on the Dutch to equalise.

India's victory was backed by a grand show of character to hold off pressure from the Dutch side, and the cynosure of India’s defence was Rohit who was hard to breach – as he blocked away six successive PCs in the final quarter ensuring India emerged victorious. He was awarded Player of the Match for his efforts.

India will play Germany in the first semifinal on December 14, Thursday, at 3:30 PM Indian Standard Time.

The match will be broadcast on Viacom Sports 18 - 3 and Sports 18 – 1 HD, and live streaming will be available on JioCinema.

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