Lucknow, December 17: India registers an aggressive win against Australia by 4-2 on Friday in men's Junior Hockey World Cup and enters into finals. Like to tell you that, both India and Australia played beautifully and gave tough competition to each other. The match was played in Major Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium in Lucknow.
At the end of match both India and Australia were at the score of 2-2, but in the shootout, Vikas Dahiya came up with a stunning display of goalkeeping to ensure India’s entry into the title round for the third time.
Despite conceding an early goal in the 14th minute to Tom Craig, Harendra Singh’s boys didn’t lose confidence and scored back-to-back goals through Gurjant Singh (42nd minute) and Mandeep Singh (48th) in the second half. The drama didn’t end there as, in the 57th minute, Australia netted the equaliser through Lachlan Sharp.
The Aussies could have pumped in another goal in the 22nd minute when they earned consecutive penalty corners, but Dahiya stood in Blake Govers’ path. A counter attack minutes into the second half saw Gurjant bring the much-needed smile on the faces of the Indians, finding the net from the left with a reverse flick. The goal prompted India to press for advantage and six minutes later Mandeep scored his third goal of the tournament.
But luck seemed to be favouring the Indians on Friday. Skipper Harjeet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Sumit and Manpreet (Jr) found it easy in the shootout, ably dodging the Australian goalkeeper Ashleigh Thomas.
The win also helped Harjeet and boys avenge the defeat at the hands of Australia in the final of the 1997 edition at Milton Keynes. Before losing to Spain in the bronze-medal tie in 2005, India had lost to Australia in the semifinal at Rotterdam. India have taken their head-to-head record against Australia since 2014 to 4-1.
The final match will be played on Sunday between India and Belgium. Belgium stunned six-time champions and title holders Germany 4-3 in the shootout in the first semifinal to enter the tournament final for the first time.