Hockey
FIH Hockey Junior World Cup: India left with slim chances to qualify after Belgium loss

FIH Hockey Junior World Cup: India left with slim chances to qualify after Belgium loss

India are virtually out of the tournament as Germany has the same number of points as second placed India having played a game less

The Indian women’s team succumbed to a heartbreaking 2-3 defeat at the hands of Belgium in the final group stage game of the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2023. The Indian women needed a win in their final match to ensure a place in the next round. However, the defeat has left India in a tricky situation.

India are virtually out of the tournament as Germany has the same number of points as second placed India having played a game less. Germany will take on 4th placed Canada in their last Group stage match. The Germans will only need a point from the match to take the second place in the Group, resulting in India’s defeat. Due to India’s superior goal difference (10) over the Germans (-5), India is still left with a slim chance to qualify if Germany loses to Canada.

What happened in the match?

India needed a win against Belgium to qualify for the quarterfinals after having won the first match against Canada and losing the second match against Germany.

Belgium took an early lead in the match, with Schreurs Noa opening the scoring for the Belgians in the 5th minute of the match. Although India pushed hard for a equaliser, they were left wanting in the final third. Belgium managed to hold onto the lead till first half. They doubled their lead in the 42nd minute of the second half from a penalty corner as De Mot France buried the ball inside the net.

India left with slim chances to qualify after losing to Belgium in Junior Women's WC

India, desperate for a come back after conceding the two goals, went on all-out attack. Annu scored a quick brace to bring India back into the match. With time running out and India needing three points, the women started pushing up in search of the equaliser.

However, Belgium kept themselves in the hunt and found the winner from a penalty stroke after going on a brisk counter-attack.

Also Read: We can’t let our fans down, says Savita Punia ahead of Paris 2024 qualifiers

Now, all depends on Germany’s result against Canada.

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