|Australia tops the world
at the 6th Junior World Cup for men
The 6th Junior World Cup for men saw a new champion installed and the hopes of a nation lifted with its junior teams performance.
At the conclusion of the 12-day event in September in Milton Keynes, England, it was the Australians claiming the winners trophy after defeating India, 3-2, in the final. Australia had finished first in its pool, just one point better than India, who they played to a draw in their pool match. In the third-fourth playoff, Germany defeated hosts England, 4-2, to take bronze.
It was Indias 4-3 extra time defeat of Germany in the semi-finals that put them in the final and ended the streak of German Junior World Cup championships which dated back to 1982 in Kuala Lumpur. Germany, which finished first in its pool, seemed poised to take another shot at the title before falling to India. The only other team to have won the men's Junior World Cup is Pakistan, which took the Junior World Cup title in Versailles, France in 1979, the inaugural year of the tournament.
Indias appearance in the final was its first ever, and afforded its supporters a large measure of optimism for the future of Indian hockey.
In other action on the tournaments final day, Japan defeated Belgium, 5-3, to finish in 11th place and Egypt defeated Cuba, 3-2, to take 9th place. Previously, Pakistan downed Argentina, 4-2, to finish in sixth place, and the Netherlands defeated Spain, 5-4, finishing in seventh.
Top goal scorer of the tournament was Naohita Tabita of Japan, who collected 10 goals. The Fair Play trophy was awarded to Cuba.
Final Pool Standings
Pool A 1. Australia, 2. India, 3. Spain, 4. Netherlands, 5. Belgium, 6. Cuba
Pool B 1. Germany, 2. England, 3. Pakistan, 4. Argentina, 5. Japan, 6. Egypt