Youth Olympics 2018: Indian boys to face Malaysia, girls to clash with Argentina in Hockey 5s final
The Indian boys beat hosts Argentina convincingly by a 3-1 margin while the girls made short work of a formidable Chinese side 3-0 en route to a place in the final of the Youth Olympics 2018 being held in Buenos Aires.
In other semifinal clashes, the Malaysian boys beat Zambia 7-4 while the Argentine girls mauled South Africa 10-0.
Sudeep Chirmako was brilliant for the Indian boys on the day as he scored twice in the 12th and 18th minutes after Rahul Kumar Rajbhar had given his team an early lead in the 3rd minute. Chimako who combined brilliantly with captain Vivek Sagar Prasad pierced the Argentine defence open several times which was quite a treat to watch.
The home crowd rose to their feet when Facundo leveled things up for Argentina - a minute after Rahul's opening goal, but failed to get their act together for the rest of the match as the Indians controlled the game brilliantly.
In the girls' semifinal, the Indians were expected to face a stern test as they were up against the defending champions, but the Chinese were never really in the match as Lalremsiami and Mumtaz wreaked havoc in opposition territory.
Mumtaz opened the scoring in the very first minute and Reet doubled the lead in the fifth. Lalremsiami who was outstanding throughout scored on the second attempt after her shot had initially been blocked by the Chinese goalie.
Coach Baljeet Singh Saini was ecstatic following the fluent victory and the jubilant Indian girls engaged in a series of congratulatory embraces. The task, however, is incomplete as Salima Tete and co. will face the Argentines who demolished South Africa in ominous fashion.
The boys, in turn, will be up against Malaysia, in Sunday's final, in what promises to be a keen contest but considering the manner in which they have progressed thus far, will start as the favorites.
At stake is a golden double which, if achieved, will be a monumental feat and a landmark achievement for Indian hockey courtesy of the immensely-talented youngsters who have mesmerized spectators in the Argentine capital and back home as well.