India beats Canada 3-2 in Junior Hockey World Cup

Junior men’s field hockey team travels to India on Sunday for tournament. A player is pictured here at an exhibition game November 27 in West Vancouver, B.C. Steve Bosch / PNG

IANS

New Delhi — India registered a remarkable 3-2 victory against Canada in a Pool C clash to gain their first three points of the Junior Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi Saturday.

Earlier, Netherlands won their second consecutive match by overcoming South Korea in the other Pool C clash to be virtually through to the quarterfinals with six points.

Hurt from their 4-7 defeat to South Korea Friday, the Canadian team struck immediately after play began to put the hosts under pressure.

Canada shocked India early in the third minute with skipper Sukhi Panesar scoring after a Brenden Bissett shot was deflected by Indian goalkeeper Harjot Singh. The ball went straight to Panesar who did not miss the chance.

However, India started attacking and was backed by an encouraging crowd cheering each time the Indians entered the Canadian half.

The hosts made several inroads but were disorganized in their disposal like in their last match against the Dutch which they lost 2-3. In a hurry to equalize, India kept losing their footing, allowing Canada to capitalize on missed chances by letting them counter-attack.

The Indian forwards missed several chances created by the midfield. Mandeep Singh missed a good chance as his reverse flick went past the goalpost. A few minutes later, Pardeep Mor gave a fantastic pass which Talwinder Singh deflected but it was just off the target.

India earned its first penalty corner in the 22nd minute but Amit Rohidas failed to convert. Another penalty corner came in the 25th minute and Gurjinder Singh, who scored in the previous match, also missed.

India earned their third penalty corner in the 30th minute and this time, Mandeep did not disappoint, scoring the much-needed equalizer going into the break.

India looked a much more organized unit in the second period and would have taken the lead but Akashdeep Singh’s reverse shot struck the post. The 2001 champions earned their fourth penalty corner which went abegging.

The visitors earned their first penalty corner in the 51st minute and Gordon Johnston’s drag flick right above keeper Harjot’s head was enough to give Canada a 2-1 lead.

Just when it looked like Canada was beginning to get a stranglehold of the proceedings, a brilliant Manpreet Singh pass was deflected by Akashdeep to get the much required equalizer in the 57th minute.

A beacon of hope came India’s way in the 68th minute when they earned a penalty corner, duly converted by Gurjinder to put India in the lead for the first time in the match. The hosts managed to hold on to the scoreline to earn three points from the win.

India need to beat South Korea Tuesday to qualify for the quarterfinal.

Pool C results: Netherlands beat South Korea 3-2, India beat Canada 3-2.

IANS 2013-12-07 22:00:03

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