MEN’S JUNIOR FIH HOCKEY WORLD CUP 2023 BEGINS IN MALAYSIA
Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur city: In addition to the reigning champions Argentina, the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023 saw victories from hosts Malaysia, France, Germany, Spain, and India. The competition took place at Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
France defeated Egypt (3-1): In their opening match of the tournament, France defeated Egypt (3-1) with ease. After 21 minutes, Morcrette Arthur gave the French the lead with a reverse stick cross that he scored after it deflected off an Egyptian stick.
Then, with a stunning display of reflexive skill, Clément Mathis increased their lead by controlling a lifted save with two aerial touches and tapping the ball back in through the keeper’s legs. In the 38th minute, following a short corner, Denis Gaspard scored the final goal for France by slapping in from close range after the ball bounced off the postman’s foot. In the 49th minute, Egypt succeeded in making a comeback.
South Africa was defeated by Germany (5-3). Germany’s Junior World Cup campaign got off to a strong start with this victory. In just five minutes, Paul Gander gave the Germans the lead when his wide drag flick nicked in off the stick of a defender. After drawing every defender in front of the goal, Ben Hansbach skilfully performed a reverse flip, which Florian Sperling then tapped in at the left post. After David Tshebi beat the goalkeeper with a sharp angle in the 24th minute to open South Africa’s account, Liam Holdermann immediately responded to give Germany a 3-1 lead at the half.
South African scored first in the second half, Jaydon Brooker rocketing his drag flick in off the first wave’s stick. Germany answered off a penalty stroke, Matteo Poljaric accurate into the top left corner. Hans Neethling got one back for South Africa with seven minutes to play, and they pulled their keeper off to have a full go. Ben Hansbach closed the match out for Germany in the 59th minute, however, easily tapping into the vacant South African goal.
Spain defeated Canada 7-0 : to start the tournament off with a commanding victory. In the second minute, Nicolas Alvarez scored after his teammates twice deflected an attacking pass into the circle, which allowed him to score from close range. At the half, Spain led 3-0 thanks to goals from Pol Cabre Verdiell, Andreas Rafi, and a drag flick that went through the post man’s stick at knee height.
Oriol Bozal scored with two drag flicks late in the third quarter, the first to the keeper’s left, the second to his right. Xavier Barutell then ran a great support line to score a beautifully worked field goal, and Bruno Font cleaned up the scraps of a goalmouth scramble to close out the scoring.
Argentina defeated Australia 1-0: The reigning champions outperformed Australia 1-0 in their first meeting, with both goalkeepers making crucial stops to keep the score tied at zero for the majority of the game. Despite Argentina’s players receiving yellow cards during two phases of play in the third quarter, Australia put on tremendous pressure, but they were unable to find the back of the nett.
It was as Australia were waiting for their own yellow-carded player to return to the pitch on 58 minutes that Argentina finally broke the deadlock, patiently working the ball into an attacking position before Tomas Ruiz fired it into the circle from 25m out.
India defeated Korea 4-2 in their opening match to earn their first points of the competition. India are the former world junior champions. Araijeet Singh Hundal first laid the ball back following the first save, then received it again and pushed it under the keeper to give the Indians the lead off a penalty corner in the eleventh minute. After a strong baseline run by Boby Singh Dhami, he scored a second goal, and Amandeep added a field goal to give India a 3-0 lead at the half.
Hosts Malaysia defeated Chile 7-1. Malaysia defeated Chile, the team with the lowest ranking in the competition, 7-1 to start the tournament. After a tenacious penalty corner, Osman Harris opened the score with a tap-in at the left post, and Danish player Aiman Mohammad added a field goal to give Malaysia a 2-0 lead at the break.
There was a flood of goals in the second half, however. Sebastián Wolansky scored early off a drag flick for Chile but that would be the only time they found the back of the net. Malaysia responded through Andywalfian Jeffrynus off a botched penalty corner, and again through Azmilmuizzuddin Misron who was quickest to react at the keeper’s feet after he saved the drag flick. Shamir Shamsul slid in for a deflection from open play, and Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi bagged first a penalty corner and then a penalty stroke to complete the scoring.