Bhubaneswar, Dec 3: India lost semi-final match against Germany by 2-4 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup 2021. Germany will now face Argentina in the finals on Sunday.
India will meet Belgium for the bronze medal match.
Going into this match, both India and Germany had been through tough encounters with Belgium and Spain respectively and the tempo of the opening quarter reflected this. Here were two teams working at a high intensity and an equally high quality of competition.
However, it was Germany who got the advantage in the opening quarter when Eric Kleinlein slotted home from a penalty corner to put his team ahead at the first break. That lead was doubled in the 21 minute when Philip Holzmüller scored.
From this point on there was little doubt about the outcome. Germany scored twice more – through Julius Hayner and Kleinlein again and any Indian attacking moves were closed down by the German defence.
India did score. Surdeep Chimarko made it 3-1 and gave his team hope but Head Coach Graham Reid will be disappointed that his side failed to deliver the creativity and speed that had been their hallmark in earlier games. The second Indian goal came in the final minute and was scored by Boby Dhami.
Player of the Match, Masi Pfandt said: “It is a pleasure for me to stand here and I am so happy to be in the final. We played as a team. We know Argentina is a good team, we played them in the pool [Germany won 4-3] and it was tight but if we play as we did today, then we have a good chance of winning”
India’s captain Vivek Prasad said: “It was a great match and a very tight match. Germany played very well and congratulations to them. I hope we can win bronze. That is what we will focus on now. “France is a great team. They beat us in the pool match [5-4] so it will not be easy but we will do our best.”