Hockey
FIH Junior Hockey World Cup: India go 3-1 down to Spain in Bronze medal match

FIH Junior Hockey World Cup: India go 3-1 down to Spain in Bronze medal match

Nicolas Alvarez scored in the 25th and 51st minutes, while Petchame Pau scored in the 40th minute to hand Spain the lead

India’s junior men’s hockey World Cup hopes of regaining some pride were dashed after they were defeated 1-3 by Spain in their bronze medal playoff in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Nicolas Alvarez scored in the 25th and 51st minutes, while Petchame Pau scored in the 40th minute. Sunil Jojo scored in the 28th minute with a penalty corner goal for India, who had lost to Spain for the second time in the junior world championship. India’s consistent problem with penalty corner conversions continued on Saturday.

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This was India’s second loss to Spain in this tournament, after falling 1-4 to the European team in the pool stage. India also finished 4th in the 2021 edition of the tournament at Bhubaneswar.

After the win against the team captained by Uttam Singh, Spain matched their best performance in the global competition, adding to their bronze medal from the 2005 edition held in Rotterdam where they defeated India 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out.

It was clear that Spain were the better team and India could easily have lost by more if it wasn’t for a couple of saves by India’s keeper Mohith Shashikumar after the half-hour mark.

Mohith made two saves in 33 minutes when the Spanish attack had almost overrun the Indian defence and Mohith’s good anticipation allowed him to save two shots on target. The saves kept India in the match.

FIH Junior Hockey World Cup: India go 3-1 down to Spain in Bronze medal match

India’s last appearance on the podium was in 2016 when they triumphed in the gold medal-winning edition of the tournament in Lucknow. The country’s first title came in 2001 in Hobart, after a runners-up finish in 1997 in Milton Keynes in England.

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