The biggest crowd gathered in the Junior World Cup hockey tournament so far, left the National Stadium with disappointment after a below-par India lost to Pakistan via tie-breaker to finish 10th here on Saturday.
India, which had beaten Pakistan 4-0 in their last meeting in the Sultan of Johor Cup three months ago, managed to draw the match beyond the regulation period with a 1-1 score line. Pakistan prevailed 4-2 in the penalty shootouts.
India ended up a rung below its finish in the previous edition of the event.
A superb Pakistani counterattack caught the Indians by surprise. In the seventh minute, No. 8 (Muhammad Umar Bhutta) passed it on to No. 9 (Muhammad Dilber) on the right and an unchallenged No. 10 (Rizwan Ali) completed the move by tapping it home.Immense pressure
Pakistan’s lead put India under immense pressure. The host moved the ball well and initiated several forays from both the flanks. However, the forwards failed to perform the most crucial task of beating the solid Pakistani defenders.
Pakistan was content with its occasional raids, which were sharp and good enough to shake the Indian back line. The Indians missed an injured Ramandeep Singh upfront as their struggle continued in the second half because of their poor basics and mindless positioning.
Gurjinder scored from India’s second penalty corner to level the scores in the 66th minute.
The results (classification matches):
15th place: Egypt 3 (Ahmed Karem 32; Ashraf Said 67; Reda Ahmed 70) bt Canada 0.
13th place: Spain 3 (Albert Beltran 5; Lluis Mercade 19; Alejandro de Frutos 68) bt England 2 (Christopher Proctor 27; Andrew Bull 45).
11th place: Argentina 4 (Gonzalo Peillat 13, 42; Lautaro Diaz 21; Joaqun Lionel Coelho 24) bt South Africa 1 (Matthew Brown 3).
9th place: Pakistan 1 (Rizwan Ali 7) bt India 1 (Gurjinder Singh 66) via tie-breaker [Pakistan 4 (Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Tousiq, Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Dilber) bt India 2 (Gurjinder, Talwinder Singh)].