Spain produced their second convincing win of the tournament on day 3 of the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Malaysia and are all but assured of a place in the quarterfinals at the top of Pool C, while Pakistan secured their first win to sit atop an incredibly tight Pool D.
The Netherlands remain in the fight for Pool D following an essential win against Belgium, and Korea kept their tournament hopes alive with a win over Canada in Pool C – the prolific Dohyun Lim scoring four goals in that match.
Here is how all four matches played out on Day 3…
Korea vs Canada (Full-Time Score: 4-1)
Dohyun Lim scored all of Korea’s goals in their 4-1 win over a competitive Canadian team. Korea had more opportunities throughout the match but it was Canada who struck first, Ravpreet Gill working brilliantly along the baseline to draw the keeper out before popping it to Robin Thind for the tap-in. Canadian keeper Armaan Bagri then made a spectacular penalty corner save on the stroke of half-time, leaving Korea trailing 0-1 at the break.
Korean keeper Seyeon Kim produced an excellent diving save off a penalty corner early in the third quarter before Lim took control for Korea, scoring with two scorching drag flicks in just two minutes, and adding a penalty stroke four minutes later. Lim completed the scoring in the final quarter with his fourth goal, a low drag flick screaming past the keeper’s right foot.
Player of the match, and leading tournament goal scorer with five goals, Dohyun Lim said: “My secret is practice. [In our next game against] Spain - I trust my team will play the match fighting.”
Pakistan vs New Zealand (Full-Time Score: 4-0)
A clinical Pakistan went top of Pool D by beating New Zealand 4-0 despite the junior Black Sticks leading the match statistics. Pakistan’s opener came from a turnover at a 16-yard hit, Hayden Ganley saving the first shot only for Abdul Rehman to pop it over his head to Arshad Liaqat for the score. New Zealand had a penalty corner goal disallowed for the ball not leaving the circle, and moments later Liaqat’s skills extended Pakistan’s lead to 2-0 with just two seconds left in the half.
Captain Hannan Shahid contributed an excellent deflection from a penalty corner variation to the p-spot. Then with eight minutes remaining New Zealand pulled their keeper off to chase the game and Liaqat took full advantage to complete his hat-trick, his reverse strike screaming over a brave Ryan Parr defending the line.
Player of the match Arshad Liaqat said: “Today’s match was important to stay in the tournament so it was good that I scored the hat-trick. In starting our defence was a little sloppy so we’ll make sure that in the next match with Belgium that doesn’t happen.”
Belgium vs Netherlands (Full-Time Score: 3-5)
Netherlands prevailed 3-5 in a thrilling encounter with Belgium to stay in the tournament. The Dutch applied immense pressure throughout and took the lead in the ninth minute, Timo Boers burying a low drag flick. Belgium responded immediately, first Hugo Labouchere rocketing a drag flick over the post-man, and then Maximilian Langer teasing one past the keeper from open play. Casper van der Veen levelled matters for the Dutch and the half ended 2-2.
Belgium went ahead again, Labouchere converting a penalty stroke despite the keeper getting a stick to it. But the Dutch fought back, Lucas Veen taking a quick free hit outside the circle and launching a flick home from just inside the D. They claimed the lead off a penalty corner deflection from injector Menno Boeren, and sealed matters with Timo Boers rifling in a penalty stroke.
Player of the match Timo Boers said: “It was important after the draw yesterday, we wanted to have a win in the tournament. Our attacking style, I think we want to improve that, we want to score a lot of goals also.”
Spain vs India (Full-Time Score: 4-1)
Spain showed just how dangerous they are in a convincing 4-1 win against world number 3 India. The Spanish struck in the first minute, Pol Cabre Verdiell finishing a beautiful series of passes with a sizzling reverse shot. Andreas Rafi extended Spain’s lead with a powerful drag flick, and it remained 2-0 at half time.
India fought hard in the second half, Rohit converting a drag flick in unusual circumstances with Spain reduced to three defenders at a penalty corner. Cabre Verdiell then landed another exceptional drag flick for the Spanish. India responded with numerous shots on target but Jan Capellades was impenetrable, making four great saves in the match. Rafi had the last word for Spain with a well-placed penalty stroke.
Player of the match Capellades called on his defence to improve: “What I try to do on every save is to watch the ball a lot, stay calm, and don’t lose my position. I think that the team has to improve the penalty corners, we only have 14 seconds to dress up and we are very late. This cannot be.”
To see the current pool standings after Day 3, click here.
To see the full match schedule, click here.
FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023 - 7 December 2023
Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
Result: Match 13
Korea 4-1 Canada
Player of the Match: Dohyun Lim (KOR)
Umpires: Hideki Kinoshita (JPN) and Nick Bennett (ENG)
Result: Match 14
Pakistan 4-0 New Zealand
Player of the Match: Arshad Liaqat (PAK)
Umpires: Jonathan von Hoesslin (RSA) and James Unkles (AUS)
Result: Match 15
Belgium 3-5 Netherlands
Player of the Match: Timo Boers (NED)
Umpires: Nazmi Kamaruddin (MAS) and Benjamin Peters (USA)
Result: Match 16
Spain 4-1 India
Player of the Match: Jan Capellades (ESP)
Umpires: Bevan Nichol (NZL) and Bruce Bale (ENG)