Junior Hockey World Cup: India looking to avenge France defeat in third-place match

India would try to redeem some pride by claiming a bronze medal after its comprehensive defeat to a superior Germany in the semifinals on Friday..

It will be India’s second bronze medal match after 2005, when it finished fourth, while for France, it will be its first fight for third place.   -  The Hindu

India will have the double challenge of improving its game and avenging its defeat to France when it plays the third-place match at the men’s hockey Junior World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

Even as Cyclone Jawad threatens to disrupt the final day of the event, India would try to redeem some pride by claiming a bronze medal after its comprehensive defeat to a superior Germany in the semifinals on Friday.

India chief coach Graham Reid had no hesitation in accepting the host’s shortcomings.

“Germany showed what we need to be doing as far as defending is concerned. They were in front, tackled the ball well and tackled in groups. If you have to win at the world stage, the basics have to be flawless. We created opportunities but they were not quality ones,” said Reid.

The Australian also pointed out the tentativeness of the Indians. “Our decision making was not good. It was visible at all ends of the pitch.”

India also lacked in earning enough penalty corners and making the optimum utilization of its talented drag-flickers.

RELATED | FIH Men's Junior World Cup 2021: Germany thrashes India 4-2 to enter final

The home team must overcome these issues to get the better of France. “We have to come out on Sunday and avenge that first match we played against France,” said Reid.

The task will not be easy though. France has performed consistently throughout the tournament. It fought hard before losing to Argentina narrowly, through shootouts, in the semifinals.

Having tamed India in its den earlier, the Frenchmen would have the psychological advantage despite the suspension of Raife Gonessa on the ground of breaching the code of conduct after the semifinal match against Argentina.

It will be India’s second bronze medal match after 2005, when it finished fourth. It will be France’s first fight for third place.

Six-time champion Germany, which had last won the title in Delhi in 2013, will take on Argentina in the final. The Latin American nation had won the gold medal only once in 2005.

RESULTS:

9th-10th places: South Africa bt Korea 4-0; 11th-12th places: Pakistan bt Poland 5-0; 13th-14th places: Canada bt Chile 2-1; 15th-16th places: USA 2 vs Egypt 2 (Shootout: USA bt Egypt 3-0).

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