India have won the 2016 men’s Junior Hockey World Cup after a 2-1 win over Belgium today, at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium in Lucknow. The hosts have lifted the junior championship after 15 long years and this is our 2nd World Cup title.
India beat Australia in penalties to advance to the Hockey World Cup Final while Belgium inflicted a penalty loss to Germany to book their berth in the Final. The match was an intriguing one as it promised as both the sides eyed a victory.
The hosts though, were by far the better side in the early stages and got their reward through a goal that was neatly scored by Gurjant Singh. The men in blue doubled their advantage, much to the delight of the jam-packed crowd as Simranjeet Singh scored. The 2 goal cushion and roar of supporters helped the home team to settle down and play their game.
On the other hand, Belgians were pushing for something but a stern Indian defense was hard to open. India were superior in the final quarters but couldn’t extend their lead, they were comfortable defending and the intensity of attacks faded during the latter stages. Belgium finally broke the Indian barrier at the final minute, when Fabrice Van Bockrijck scored, but it was too little to late for them as India managed to see of the final seconds and clinch the title in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
In the Bronze medal match of the Junior Hockey World Cup, Germany comprehensively beat Australia 3-0 with goals Schiffer and a brace from Herzbruch.
England’s Edward Horler scored most goals in the tournament with 8 goals and Spanish Enrique Gonzalez de Castejon was awarded the best player of the tournament award. India have improved significantly from the previous tournament, where they finished 10th. They will be looking to continue their performance in the senior’s tournament and these host of players do hold a bright future, at least the results speak so.
Photo by Abhishek_Kumar