Kuala Lumpur, Dec 12 (PTI) India produced a spectacular display of grit and character to advance to the semifinals with a thrilling 4-3 win over the Netherlands in the hockey men’s Junior World Cup here on Tuesday.
Trailing 0-2 at half-time and 2-3 in the third quarter, India exhibited immense resilience to beat the Dutch in the quarterfinal and set a last four clash against Germany.
The Netherlands set the ball rolling early in the first quarter with a penalty corner conversion from Timo Boers (5′).
Despite the Indian side playing a solid defence, Pepijn van der Heijden (16′) scored for the Netherlands in the second quarter through another penalty corner conversion taking their lead to 2-0 at half-time.
India came back strongly in the third quarter with a goal from Aditya Lalage (34′) assisted by Araijeet Singh Hundal.
Two minutes later Araijeet scored the equaliser for India with a penalty stroke. The India colts kept the pressure on the Dutch but they managed yet another penalty corner that was converted by Olivier Hortensius (44′) late in the third quarter as the Netherlands snatched a narrow lead of one goal at the end of the third quarter.
With less than ten minutes remaining, the Indians raised the tempo of their game and it proved fruitful as Sourabh Anand Kushwaha (52′) found the back of the net off a rebound following a brilliant attack to get the score reading 3-3.
Another opportunity for a penalty corner conversion was created, this time in favour of India and they made full use of it with captain Uttam Singh (57′) scoring to put India ahead with just three minutes left.
India colts victory was backed by a grand show of character to hold off pressure from the Dutch side, and the cynosure of India’s defence was Rohit who was hard to breach – as he blocked away six successive PCs in the final quarter ensuring India emerge victorious. He was awarded player of the match for his efforts.