India juniors post another emphatic win

Despite a swift beginning by the opponents, India weathered an early storm as they defended a penalty corner in the opening minutes before winning one of their own off a counter attack. However, they failed to convert it.

Ajay Yadav and Varun Kumar scored a brace each as India’s junior men’s hockey team beat Scotland 5-1 for its second successive win.   -  K. Murali Kumar

India’s junior men’s team continued its good run with a 5-1 thrashing of Scotland senior team in the second game at the Bisham Abbey Sports Centre here today.

Despite a swift beginning by the opponent, India weathered an early storm as it defended a penalty corner in the opening minutes before winning one of its own off a counter attack. However, the team failed to convert it.

India started controlling the game and took the lead with a goal by Ajay Yadav. Thereafter, Indian goalkeeeper Suraj Karkera pulled off two smart saves to deny Scotland the equaliser heading into the first break.

The saves proved crucial as India came out quicker in the second quarter, creating a flurry of chances in the opening exchanges. Yadav capitalised on some slack Scotland defending to extend India’s lead to 2-0 heading into half-time.

India won a stroke early in the third quarter and Varun Kumar made no mistake from the spot, giving India a 3-0 lead.

Desperate to reduce the scoreline, and the threat of a blowout imminent, Scotland started pushing forward in numbers and holding the ball in the midfield. India’s defence held strong though and the scoreline remained 3-0 heading into the final break.

The trend continued in the final quarter. Scotland played the ball forward as India looked to capitalise on the counter.

A couple of quick PCs were smartly denied by Suraj in India’s goal, before Varun scored his second goal of the match to put any hopes of a Scotland comeback on hold. With the game headed to the hooter Gurjant added a fifth to India’s tally.

Scotland’s William Marshall scored a goal in the dying minutes, but it proved to be little consolation.

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