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Argentina win Junior Hockey World Cup, India finish fourth

The victorious Argentina junior hockey team. (PC: Hockey India)
The victorious Argentina junior hockey team. (PC: Hockey India)
Hari Kishore M
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Lautaro Domene scored a hat-trick to help Argentina beat Germany 4-2 in a pulsating final at the FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Argentina thus became Hockey World Cup champions for the second time in history following their win in Rotterdam in 2005.

All of Lautaro Domene's goals were from penalty corners, as the German defense crumbled under pressure.

Read: Hockey India to take part in 2022 Commonwealth Games

Domene’s achievement was made more remarkable by the fact that Argentina won just three penalty corners in the entire match, with the drag-flicker finishing with a 100 percent conversion rate.

The result ended Germany’s quest for a seventh Hockey Men's Junior World Cup title and brought the curtains down on a superb tournament at the Kalinga Stadium.

The Netherlands and Spain were respective winners over Belgium and Malaysia in the 5-6 and 7-8 classification matches.

Indian hockey team finishes fourth

Having started the tournament as title contenders, the Indian men's junior hockey team eventually finished fourth. The Indian team lost to France 1-3 in the bronze medal play-off match.

France captain Timothée Clément netted his fourth hat-trick in six matches as he guided his team to a bronze medal.

The Indian hockey team started well, showing a lot of promise and dominated the early stages of the matches. The Indian strikers even managed to hit the post, but France grew into the contest and edged ahead four minutes before half time thanks to Clément’s superb penalty corner drag-flick.

Clément netted another penalty corner early in the third quarter, but the Indian hockey team hit back through Sudeep Chirmako’s brilliant reverse-scooped finish to give India some hope in the latter stages.

It was Clément who had the final say, with his deflected fourth quarter penalty corner effort completing his personal treble and securing a bronze medal for the young French hockey team.

After the match, Timothee Clement said it felt great to be finishing the campaign with a medal.

“What an emotion!" he said. "Two days ago, it was very difficult to lose in the semi-final. It was very important to finish like this. We have a bronze medal. It’s just amazing! This team is perfect. We are very happy for French hockey. The future generation is here and I think we will have a great future!”

Also read: Four Indian officials appointed for 2023 Hockey World Cup

Indian men's junior hockey team captain Vivek Sagar Prasad, meanwhile, was disappointed with the outcome.

“It was a really good match, a very close one," he said. "Congratulations to the French team! We’re very disappointed. As players, we will all work to improve in the future.”

Junior Hockey World Cup Competition Awards

Best Player of the Tournament: Timothée Clément (FRA)

Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Anton Brinckman (GER)

Top Scorer of the Tournament: Miles Bukkens (NED) (18 goals)

Odisha Fair Play Award: Team Chile

Odisha Fans Choice Award for Best Goal of the Tournament: Ignacio Nardolillo (ARG)

Hockey India Maximum Team Goals: Netherlands (45 goals)

Hockey India Best Goal Saved of the Tournament: Mahmoud Seleem (EGY)

AM/NS India Best Coach of the Tournament: Johannes Schmitz (GER)

Also read: Gurjit Kaur orchestrates India's huge win over Thailand in Asian Champions Trophy opener


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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