Germany will face France in the gold medal match while India will take on Spain for bronze at the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup after a day of exhilarating semi-final action in Kuala Lumpur.
Germany were clinical with their limited opportunities and overcame India’s significant statistical dominance to advance to the final with a 4-1 victory. In the other semi-final of the day, France produced a spectacular third quarter to set up a 3-1 win over Spain.
Meanwhile, in the battle for the lower places, the Netherlands beat dethroned defending champions Argentina 1-0 to set up a fifth-place playoff against Australia who beat Pakistan 7-5. That means Argentina and Pakistan will play off for seventh spot.
Here is how all four matches played out on Day 10…
Argentina vs Netherlands (Full-Time Score: 0-1)
The Netherlands made the most of their opportunities and defended well to beat Argentina 1-0.
The 2021 champions had a series of half chances in the opening 30 minutes, but Dutch keeper Daan Taphoorn got his lines right and wasn’t tested. The best opportunity of the half fell to Argentina with a penalty corner against four defenders (because of a green card) but Taphoorn gloved the shot over the bar and it remained goalless at the break.
The Dutch dominated the third quarter and were rewarded with a sharp field goal, Jan van ’t Land receiving a long pass deep in the circle and slipping it across goal where Dylan Lucieer’s quick hands beat the scrambling Joaquin Ruiz. The Spanish keeper denied the Dutch a second with a good save to keep Argentina in the hunt but, despite applying great pressure in the final quarter, they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Player of the match Luke Dommershuijzen was happy to bounce back after the disappointment of the quarter-final : “It was tough especially after India, because in our team we play a very good game but we didn’t finish it as a group. Today we dug deep and I’m very proud of everyone.”
Australia vs Pakistan (Full-Time Score: 7-5)
Australia dominated a busy third quarter in their 7-5 victory over Pakistan. The Australians started well, Nathan Czinner opening the scoring in the third minute with a well-finished field goal. Abdul Qayyum levelled matters for Pakistan, but Cambell Geddes scored a drag flick for Australia to lead 2-1 at half-time.
The third quarter started with Brodee Foster and Umar Mustafa trading field goals before Australia took control with three goals in four minutes, Geddes completing his hat-trick with two penalty corners and Czinner adding a field goal. Foster bagged a penalty stroke early in the fourth quarter for an unassailable 7-2 lead. Pakistan fought hard, adding field goals from Ahtisham Aslam and Qayyum, and a penalty corner from Sufyan Khan, but it was all too little too late.
Player of the match Nathan Czinner reflected on bouncing back after losing in the quarter-finals: “It was a tough one, very disappointed after our quarter-final, but I think it’s a great effort from the boys just to come back and really show how we play.”
Germany vs India (Full-Time Score: 4-1)
It was a story of penalty corners as Germany defended all 12 of India’s and scored both of their own in a tricky 4-1 win to progress to the final. India dominated the first half but Germany opened the scoring, Ben Hasbach pouncing on loose ball after a scrambling Indian defence made two saves. Sudeep Chirmako hit back for India, cleaning up loose ball and finishing with a blistering reverse stick shot. The Germans then absorbed immense pressure, defending 10 penalty corners in the half before scoring from their first on the stroke of half time, Hasbach getting the faintest overhead deflection for an unlikely 2-1 lead.
The third quarter was much tighter. India failed off their 11th penalty corner while Germany’s Paul Glander made no mistake with their second. The Germans sealed the game in the final quarter, captain Matteo Poljaric working the baseline skillfully before setting up Florian Sperling who needed two attempts to beat goalkeeper Shashikumar Mohith Honnenahalli.
An elated player of the match, Ben Hasbach, said: “It was just an incredible game. We didn’t come in the game as good as we did against Argentina. But we stayed strong in our penalty corners and our defence and then you win those semi-finals, now we’re in the final, it’s just amazing. We’re loving it here, we’re playing our best hockey, and we want to keep going and win the World Cup.”
France vs Spain (Full-Time Score: 3-1)
France secured their spot in the final with a hard-earned 3-1 win over Spain. The French scored in the second minute, Brieuc Delemazure bulleting his drag flick through goalkeeper Jan Capellades. A sliding Jules Verrier then nearly made it two but the ball struck his body on the goal line. Marius Clement and Capellades made good penalty corner saves at opposite ends of the field, and Spain’s Oriol Bozal received a 10-minute suspension for an off-the-ball incident. The Spanish then drew level on the first quarter hooter, Aleix Bozal firing in a low drag flick. The second quarter remained tight, and the teams went into the break with the scores still locked at 1-1.
France went ahead again early in the third quarter, the umpire playing good advantage in the circle for Stanislas Branicki to slap into an open net, keeper Capellades having been drawn off his line to shut down an attack. Louis Haertelmeyer then extended the lead, beating the last defender with a good touch and smashing it in. Spain had several opportunities in the final period but could not capitalise as the seventh-ranked French celebrated securing their place in Saturday’s final.
Player of the match, French captain Gaspard Xavier said: “The feeling is incredible. Two years ago we lost in the semi-final so today we wanted to go to the final and we did, so I think it’s a very good thing and good teamwork.”
To see the full match schedule, click here.
FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023 - 14 December 2023
Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
Result: Match 37
Argentina 0-1 Netherlands
Player of the Match: Luke Dommershuijzen (NED)
Umpires: Hideki Kinoshita (JPN) and Bevan Nichol (NZL)
Result: Match 38
Australia 7-5 Pakistan
Player of the Match: Nathan Czinner (AUS)
Umpires: Benjamin Peters (USA) and Jonathan von Hoesslin (RSA)
Result: Match 39
Germany 4-1 India
Player of the Match: Ben Hasbach (GER)
Umpires: Zeke Newman (AUS) and Nick Bennett (ENG)
Result: Match 40
France 3-1 Spain
Player of the Match: Gaspard Xavier (FRA)
Umpires: Hyosik You (KOR) and Nazmi Kamaruddin (MAS)