Defending champions Argentina claimed their second win of the tournament on day two of the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Malaysia as France also clinched their second victory, with the two sides now comfortably sitting atop Pool A and B respectively.
Belgium opened their account with an emphatic opening win over New Zealand.
And South Africa and Australia earned their first points of the competition with solid wins while Pakistan clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to draw with the Netherlands.
We take a look at all six matches played during Day 2.
Netherlands vs Pakistan (Full-Time Score: 3-3)
Pakistan fought back from two goals down to draw 3-3 against a Dutch outfit who failed to take full advantage of their statistical dominance. The Netherlands took the lead off a fast counterattack when Pakistan were a man down, Boris Aardenburg’s one-touch pass across goal eliminating the keeper for Olivier Hortensius to deflect in at the right post. Casper van der Veen added a second off a goalmouth scramble on the stroke of half-time.
Pakistan scored early in the second half, Hannan Shahid deflecting a cross for Arshad Liaqat to swat in from directly in front. The Dutch then lost Dylan Lucier for 10 minutes following a reckless challenge and Pakistan attacked, drawing level through a powerful Sufyan Khan drag flick. Hortensius reestablished the Dutch lead with a stunning individual goal to set up a close finish, but Pakistan again levelled the scores through a confident Arbaz Ahmad penalty stroke.
Afterwards, player of the match Olivier Hortensius reflected: “The yellow card 10 minutes in the third quarter, it was very tough 10 minutes hard working. I think in 24 hours we play again.”
Belgium vs New Zealand (Full-Time Score: 4-0)
Belgium netted three goals in three minutes during a clinical second quarter to set up their 4-0 win against a strong New Zealand side. Hugo Labouchere started the scoring streak with a poorly placed penalty stroke that was nearly saved by Hayden Ganley. A minute later Lucas Putters found an unmarked Jack Vloeberghs at the top of the D and he hammered in off the reverse stick. Just two minutes later Louis Depelsenaire scored a fantastic individual goal, riding a strong tackle before working his way into the circle and smashing home off the reverse stick.
New Zealand got caught a bit high early in the second half and Thomas Crols picked up a long pass to complete the scoring, comfortably firing his shot home.
A satisfied player of the match, Louis Depelsenaire said: “A really good start to the tournament. It was a bit difficult in the beginning, maybe a bit of nerves, first quarter a bit difficult, the second quarter really good. Maybe start a bit better and continue to defend like this.”
South Africa vs Egypt (Full-Time Score: 3-2)
South Africa dominated all the statistics but only just clung on for a 3-2 win over continental rivals Egypt to keep their tournament hopes alive. The South Africans scored first, Thabang Jeyi’s perfectly placed pass from a baseline run finding Cameron le Forestier who squeezed it into the top of the net. Calvin Davis then extended the lead with a penalty corner. Hossameldin Ragab scored from a penalty corner for Egypt, but Jaydon Brooker belted in a rebound from his own drag flick to extend South Africa’s lead to 3-1.
Both defensive units were tested in the third quarter, but only a low drag flick from Ragab found the net. The match ended in dramatic fashion with Egypt failing to convert from three penalty corners in the final 10 seconds, Calvin Davis making an excellent post-man save at the death.
Player of the match Cameron le Forestier understood the importance of the result: “It’s one game in the pool that we absolutely had to win so we can give ourselves a chance to make it to the quarterfinal against France.”
France vs Germany (Full-Time Score: 2-0)
France’s better-quality possession and good discipline earned them a 2-0 victory over Germany who had more circle entries in their clash. France took the lead in the first quarter after a counterattack from their own baseline, Jules Verrier slapping the ball into the top left corner after flawless inter-passing between five players. France dominated the first half and could easily have led by more than 1-0.
Germany started the third quarter with great intent, but ill-discipline in the form of two green cards, a yellow card, and a penalty stroke denied them an opportunity to apply sustained pressure. Verrier grabbed his second of the match by launching the penalty stroke into the top right corner for a 2-0 lead as torrential rain bucketed down. The final quarter was closely contested with neither team able to find a goal.
Player of the match Jules Verrier said: “We started the game very well, we scored in the first quarter, we make a big game in defence. It’s an award for all the team, I just scored the two goals but we made a good game.”
Australia vs Chile (Full-Time Score: 7-1)
Australia romped home 7-1 against underdogs Chile. The match was initially tight, but Cooper Burns opened the scoring for the Australians with a reverse stick strike. Chile responded immediately, Joaquín Muñoz converting a penalty corner. Australia then lifted themselves, with Brodee Foster and Craig Marais hammering in field goals, and Cambell Geddes converting a penalty corner to take Australia to a 4-1 lead by half-time.
After a goalless third quarter Australia finished well. Will Mathison screamed one in off a weak penalty corner clearance, and Marais finished off with two more field goals from close range, completing his hat-trick in the process.
Player of the match Liam Henderson said: “Yesterday was a pretty disappointing loss. We just went back to our principles, moved the ball, and made sure. Our attacking wasn’t great yesterday but in the circle we were much better today, quality entries and that was ultimately the goal for us.”
Malaysia vs Argentina (Full-Time Score: 0-4)
Defending champions Argentina continued with their winning ways, posting a 4-0 victory over competitive hosts Malaysia. The Malaysians were the better side in a goalless opening quarter, but Argentina got ahead somewhat fortuitously in the second quarter when Bautista Capurro’s reverse shot from wide left deflected in off the keeper’s foot. Argentina extended their lead with a 50m overhead to Agustin Bonanno on the baseline, who laid it back for Marco Aguirregomezcorta to pop it over the keeper.
Inaki Minadeo gave Argentina a welcome cushion late in the third quarter, rocketing his penalty corner past the post-man. Argentina closed out the scoring with Ignacio Nardolillo providing a perfect pass across goal for Juan Fernandez to tap in at the left post.
Player of the match Joaquin Toscani said: “We have to go step by step. It’s beautiful to pass but we have to think in the next match and be prepared. I think that the first thing is to defend better the circle.”
To see the current pool standings after Day 2, click here.
To see the full match schedule, click here.
FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023 - 6 December 2023
Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
Result: Match 7
Netherlands 3-3 Pakistan
Player of the Match: Olivier Hortensius
Umpires: Bruce Bale (ENG) and Hyosik You (KOR)
Result: Match 8
Belgium 4-0 New Zealand
Player of the Match: Louis Depelsenaire
Umpires: Hideki Kinoshita (JPN) and Zeke Newman (AUS)
Result: Match 9
South Africa 3-2 Egypt
Player of the Match: Cameron le Forestier
Umpires: Lukasz Zwierzchowski (POL) and Nick Bennett (ENG)
Result: Match 10
France 2-0 Germany
Player of the Match: Jules Verrier
Umpires: Benjamin Peters (USA) and James Unkles (AUS)
Result: Match 11
Australia 7-1 Chile
Player of the Match: Liam Henderson
Umpires: Rajput Sourabh (IND) and Antonio Ilgrande (ITA)
Result: Match 12
Malaysia 0-4 Argentina
Player of the Match: Joaquin Toscani
Umpires: Bevin Nichol (NZL) and Tim Meissner (GER)