Belgium will face South Africa in the playoff for ninth place while hosts Malaysia will play New Zealand for 11th spot after a day of shootouts at the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
Nerves were frayed as it took a shootout victory for Belgium to progress against Malaysia while South Africa had to do the same after completing an impressive comeback from three goals down against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, in the battle for the lower places, Egypt will face Korea for 13th place after their shootout victory over Canada while the Canadians take on Chile for 15th spot.
Here is how all four matches played out on Day 9…
Egypt vs Canada (Full-Time Score: 1-1, SO: 3-2)
Egypt prevailed 3-2 in a penalty shootout with Canada after the match ended 1-1.
The Canadians dominated the opening quarter and Egypt’s Mahmoud Husin had to make an excellent low save from a penalty corner to deny them an early lead. They made the breakthrough when Maansarovar Sidhu deflected in from the p-spot off a penalty corner variation to take the lead. Egypt dominated the second quarter despite Ahmed Fahmy serving a 10-minute suspension for a slide tackle, but still trailed 0-1 at half time having had a goal disallowed.
Egypt looked dangerous and equalised in the first minute of the second half, Hussein Awad deflecting a penalty corner in at the post. But it started going wrong with first Mohamed Hosni serving a 10-minute suspension, and Fahmy being sent off for his second yellow card offence at the end of the third quarter. The Egyptians started the final period with nine players, but Canada couldn’t take advantage and the scores were locked at 1-1 after 60 minutes. Egypt made less errors in the ensuing shootout and to win it 3-2.
An exhausted player of the match Hussein Awad had little to say afterwards: “Wonderful celebration.”
Chile vs Korea (Full-Time Score: 1-2)
Korea came from behind late in their match to beat Chile 2-1. It was an enthralling encounter with few real opportunities in the first half. Joaquín Muñoz eventually fired in a drag flick to give Chile the lead in the 25th minute. Korean keeper Seyeon Kim then saved a deflection from open play to prevent any further damage by the half-time break.
Neither team could create anything in the third quarter but Korea seemed to be building momentum into the final period. Kim kept them in the hunt with a good double save from open play and Korea finally drew level after 52 minutes, Taewon Seo tapping in Junyeol Lim’s pass from the baseline after a patient buildup. Daehyun Kim put them ahead two minutes later, receiving a free hit and smashing it into goal from the top of the circle. Chile took their keeper off in the final minutes to push for a goal and very nearly drew level but Kim made another double save before the third shot ricocheted off the crossbar.
Daehyun Kim was named player of the match.
Malaysia vs Belgium (Full-Time Score: 2-2, SO: 3-5)
The heavily favoured Belgians had to dig deep to edge out hosts Malaysia 5-3 in a shootout when their match finished 2-2 after 60 minutes. Goalkeepers Mohamad Rafaizul and Boris Feldheim both made good saves in the opening half before Max Luyten fired in a field goal for Belgium to lead 1-0 at the break.
The start of the second half was delayed by torrential rain but once action resumed Hugo Labouchere rocketed in a drag flick for Belgium, only for Adam Ashraf to respond with a scrappy field goal for the hosts a minute later. Malaysia then applied sustained pressure, post-man Guillermo Hainaut saving a penalty corner and Feldheim saving a field goal, before Ashraf drew the home side level with a penalty stroke. This sent the match into a shootout in which Belgium scored from all five attempts for the win.
Player of the match was Belgian captain Guillermo Hainaut who said: “It was a really tough challenge with the weather, with the fans. Also with the disappointment of four days ago. So it was difficult circumstances but we got through.”
South Africa vs New Zealand (Full-Time Score: 3-3, SO: 4-3)
South Africa pulled off an incredible comeback from three goals down against New Zealand to level the scores 3-3 and then snatch a 4-3 victory in the shootout. New Zealand had an ideal start, Aiden Bax opening the scoring with a scrappy field goal late in the first quarter. Two minutes later South African keeper Gianluca Virissimo made an excellent save from a penalty corner, only for Sam Lints’ rebound shot to deflect in off a defending stick. Virissimo denied New Zealand twice more to restrict their half-time lead to 2-0.
James Hickson then put the junior Black Sticks three up after the break, his cross deflecting in off another unfortunate defender. But within a minute Hans Neethling responded for South Africa with a penalty stroke, and Jaydon Brooker fired in a drag flick to set up a tense final quarter. Neethling equalised for South Africa from open play to take the match to a shootout, which South Africa clinched 4-3 in sudden death.
Jaydon Brooker was named player of the match.
To see the full match schedule, click here.
FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023 - 13 December 2023
Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
Result: Match 33
Egypt 1-1 Canada (SO: 3-2)
Player of the Match: Hussein Awad (EGY)
Umpires: Jonathan von Hoesslin (RSA) and Antonio Ilgrande (ITA)
Result: Match 34
Chile 1-2 Korea
Player of the Match: Daehyun Kim (KOR)
Umpires: Lukasz Zwierzchowski (POL) and Benjamin Peters (USA)
Result: Match 35
Malaysia 2-2 Belgium (SO: 3-5)
Player of the Match: Guillermo Hainaut (BEL)
Umpires: Zeke Newman (AUS) and Hideki Kinoshita (JPN)
Result: Match 36
South Africa 3-3 New Zealand (SO: 4-3)
Player of the Match: Jaydon Brooker (RSA)
Umpires: Nick Bennett (ENG) and Rajput Sourabh (IND)