Favourites India continued their strong showing in the men’s Junior Hockey World Cup as they scored a dominating 5-3 win over England in a Pool D encounter to virtually secure a place in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
India, who had earlier spanked Canada 4-0 in their tournament-opener, scored two goals in the first half through Parvinder Singh (24th minute) and Armaan Qureshi (35th) before finding the net thrice in the second half, courtesy Harmanpreet Singh (37th), Simranjeet Singh (45th) and Varun Kumar (59th).
However, it was England who drew the first blood through Jack Clee (10th) before pumping in two late goals from Will Calnan (63rd) and Edward Horler(67th).
Pressing hard in search of the equaliser, India earned their first penalty corner in the 23rd minute. Varun Kumar’s try from the set piece was saved by the English defence but from the resultant attack Parvinder drew level from a move that was set up by skipper Harjeet Singh.
Armaan made the scoreline 2-1 in favour of India just at the stroke of half time. Unmarked inside the circle, he just had to dab the ball inside the goal after being set up by Harjeet s cross from the left flank which got slight deflection from the stick of Parvinder.
India earned their fourth penalty corner with the opening move of the second half and Harmanpreet rose to the occasion to extend the home team’s lead.
Next it was Simranjeet’s turn to register his name in the scoresheet. Dragflicker Varun then made the scoreline 5-1 favour by converting India’s fifth penalty corner.
Towards the end England went full throttle and were also rewarded with two goals — first through Calnan s field strike and then through a penalty corner conversion by Horler.
India are now leading Pool D with six points from two wins and next play South Africa on December 12. England are placed second with three points from two games and will finish off the pool engagements against lowly Canada on December 13.
Earlier in the day, Minnows Austria continued to impress in the ongoing men’s Junior Hockey World Cup as they spanked declining Asian powerhouse Korea 5-2 to remain in contention for a surprise quarter-final berth from Pool A.
In the other Pool A encounter, mighty Australia had to fight hard to scrape past gutsy Argentina 2-1.
In another game, South Africa beat Canada 3-1 to stay in contention for a quarter-final berth from Pool D.