India through to Junior Asia Cup semifinal, qualifies for FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023

Defending champions India entered the semifinals of the Men’s Junior Asia Cup with a 17-0 win over Thailand in its last Pool A match.

Published : May 29, 2023 10:43 IST , New Delhi - 2 MINS READ

Angad Bir Singh, who scored four goals, won the Player of the Match award against Thailand.
Angad Bir Singh, who scored four goals, won the Player of the Match award against Thailand. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
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Angad Bir Singh, who scored four goals, won the Player of the Match award against Thailand. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Defending champions India entered the semifinals of the Men’s Junior Asia Cup with a 17-0 win over Thailand in its last Pool A match. India now has booked its spot for the FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, which will take place from December 5-16 in Kuala Lumpur.

The Indian team began the contest on the front foot, attacking Thailand with regularity, but were unable to break through in the early exchanges. Thailand not only absorbed the pressure but also looked to attack India, however, edged ahead just before the end of the first quarter when Angad Bir Singh (13’) found the back of the net.

Early in the second quarter, India captain Uttam Singh eased through the Thailand defense on the right before Yogember Rawat (17’) doubled the advantage. The Indian team took control of the contest, and before the half ended, Uttam (24’) also got on the scoresheet, scoring from close range. A couple of minutes later, Amandeep Lakra (26’) smashed home his shot from a penalty corner, as the Indian Colts led 4-0, and were showing no signs of slowing down. Soon after Lakra (29’) scored his second from a penalty corner and at halftime India led 5-0.

The Indian captain (31’) made it 6-0 in the first minute of the third quarter, rifling it into the top corner from the right, and moments later Angad (33’) too got his second for the night. India was dominating proceedings, and added another soon after when Araijeet Singh Hundal (36’) got on the scoresheet courtesy of a powerful hit from the right.

India continued to attack, pushing Thailand deep into its half, and the pressure resulted in another goal, as Vishnukant Singh (38’) got his name on the scoresheet, making it 9-0. Just before the final break, Bobby Singh Dhami (45’) made it 10-0 when he converted a penalty corner.

The final quarter wore a similar look to the previous ones, with Sharda Nand Tiwari (46’), Amandeep (47’) and Angad (47’), striking in quick succession to make it 13-0. A comeback seemed highly unlikely, but Rohit (49’) got into the act as well, making it 14-0 for India. There would be more to come as India were playing free-flowing hockey, and it was Sunit Lakra (54’), Angad (55’), and Rajinder Singh (56’) who added three more goals, making it 17-0.

India came away with an emphatic win, finishing the night on top of the standings in Pool A.

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