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Junior Hockey World Cup: India beat Belgium to set up semifinals date with Germany | Hockey News – Times of India

PR Sreejesh would have been more than happy with what he saw at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
Over the years he has helped the Indian senior team win numerous games with his heroics in front of the goal. And on Wednesday, it was Pawan, who helped the Indian junior team earn a memorable 1-0 win with his heroics in front of the goal against Belgium in the quarterfinals of the Junior Hockey World Cup and set up a semifinal date with Germany on Friday.
Five years ago, the team from Europe had lost in the final of the Junior World Cup in Lucknow against India and although it was a different set of players, the outcome was no different this time around as India’s two goalkeepers – Pawan and Prashant Chauhan – kept out everything that came their way.
India took the lead seven minutes into the second quarter through Shradhanand Tiwari after he converted India’s only penalty corner of the match following a lovely dummy by Sanjay. But they couldn’t increase their lead throughout the match and it was Belgium who looked like scoring every now and then. Especially in the third and fourth quarters, the Belgians had numerous chances but alongwith the defenders, the two Indian goalkeepers put on a show to remember. They were calm and focussed and played to the plan. The harder they pressed, the better they defended.
As for Pawan, he first made a diving save to his right in the fourth quarter. He then followed it up with a double save from a penalty corner with a little more than two minutes left in the match which saw Belgium finally give up their fight. However, it was a disappointing night, especially for Thibeau Stockbroekx, who had some great chances to score but failed to convert any of them.
India chief coach Graham Reid was impressed with the team’s fighting spirit and said they would need all of that when they face Germany next. “The fight shown by the players impressed me the most. It seemed that the team was asleep for the first seven minutes but after that they were focussed on their effort,” said Reid.
He was happy with the team’s defence which was very poor during India’s first match against France.
Earlier, it was Belgium who started pressing from the very word go but couldn’t make much of it. As the match progressed, India slowly started finding their feet and threatened on a couple of occasions.


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