India junior hockey teams start with wins in Belgium

India’s junior men’s hockey team thrashed Ireland 5-0 in its opening match at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament.

India thrashed Ireland 5-0 in its opening match at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament.   -  Twitter@Hockey India

India’s junior men’s hockey team thrashed Ireland 5-0 in its opening match at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament here on Saturday.

After a goal-less first quarter, India found its momentum and scored a splendid field goal in the 20th minute through Rajkumar Pal.

Mohd Umar doubled the lead in the 25th minute with an impressive field strike and three minutes later Mohd Raheel converted a penalty corner to help India take a comfortable 3-0.

India’s defence remained unbreakable with Irish forwards finding little space in the striking circle.

The Indians worked their way to fetch two more goals in the 32nd and 60th minutes through Shilanand Lakra and Raheel respectively.

India will next play Great Britain on Sunday.

Junior women also win

Meanwhile, the Indian junior women’s hockey team also put up a dominating show as it beat Ireland 4-1 in its opening match of the U-23 Six Nations Tournament that began here on Saturday.

Though the Irish scored the first goal in the 5th minute through Edel Nyland and put India on the back foot, the Indian team, led by forward Preeti Dubey, overcame the early setback with goals through Jyoti in the 11th minute, which equalised the score, followed by a field goal by Mumtaz Khan in the 22nd minute.

The defence of the Indian team held strong as it did not allow any potential forays by the Irish forwards in the striking circle. The Indian forwards kept the pressure on Ireland’s defence as they scored through Manpreet Kaur in the 28th and 37th minutes to help their side to a comfortable win.

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