India impresses at Malaysian Junior event
17 Jan 2008 15:45
Former Junior World Cup champions India got off to a rousing start in the Junior Men Eight-Nation Invitational hockey tournament with a 6-1 win over South Korea at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
By Julia Vasanthi, GNN.
The Indians gave a polished display of attacking hockey and enjoyed full control of the match despite the Koreans setting a fast pace throughout the match.
Indian defender Diwakar Ram also got into the record books by scoring the first hattrick of the tournament. He secured all three goals from the penalty corner set piece moves.
He also showed why there is interest in him from the senior team with the well executed penalty corners. He was top scorer with eight goals in an eight-nation meet in Germany last year.
India coach M. K. Bansal was happy with the opening win but he said they need to keep their focus on the coming matches and not get carried away.
'It is good to see the players showing a lot of determination and they also forged a good understanding. They played to their true abilities and now we need to be consistent in our performance.
'The Koreans played well but were not able to cope with our pace today. I think they would have played better if they had played one or two games before us. Still this is a perfect start for us and hopefully we can go all the way,' he said after the match.
The South Koreans did have some chances but their finishing was way off when they did get a break.
India took their time settling down but when Diwakar flicked home the first goal in the ninth minute they never looked back.
Sanwar Ali then added the second goal two minutes before half time to keep on track for full points.
After the breather the Indians continued to attack and their moved paid off. Gurwinder Singh Chandi was on target from a close range attempt in the 51 st minute and then came Diwakar's two goals from the penalty corners in the 55th and 63rd minutes.
The rout was complete when Pramod Kumar scored a field goal in the 64tyh minute. The Koreans finally managed to gain a consolation goal in the 69 th minute through their penalty corner drag flicker Lim Woo-geun
Korean coach Shin Seok-kyo, a former international defender, said that the players were nervous and could not play as a team.
'We are coming from a cold weather back home and the team had very little training. We came here fives earlier to acclimatize but that is not enough.
'India were very skilful and they took their chances well today. We are not too worried about the defeat as the whole idea coming here is to expose the players to the top level matches.
'I know that we can play better and we hope to show it by improving in the coming matches,' he added.
In the second match of the day the Dutch found little resistance from the Kiwis as they started the rout as early as the fourth minute.
Mink van der Weerden scored off a penalty corner in the fourth minute and then went on to increase his tally with goals in the 14 th and 17th minute.
The other goal getters for the Dutch team were Erik Bouwens (7th, 11th, 69th), Robert Kemperman (20 th, 45th) and Quinjn Caspers (34th).
The Kiwis got their goal through Issac Staples in the 52nd minute.
Former four-time Junior World Champions Germany found a tough Pakistani defence to counter in the first half where they were restricted to a 1-1 scoreline.
Jan Fkeckhaus scored in the 23rd minute through a field attempt but the Pakistanis drew level the next minute through Ullah Inayat.
But the tempo of the game changed in the second half when the Germans tightened their game and enjoyed a lot of room to attack.
Marco Mitkau, Martin Haner, Felix Meyer added three goals in the 50th, 52nd and 56th minutes while Fleckhaus scored a second goal in the 68th minute to cap a fine run in the opening game.
India – South Korea 6-1
Netherlands – New Zealand 9-1
Germany – Pakistan 5-1