Junior men’s hockey team register win; women flunk at Valencia

Valencia (Spain), Oct 25 (IANS) The Indian junior men’s hockey team opened their 4-Nations Invitational tournament campaign in style beating Germany 3-1 while it was heartbreak for the junior women’s team, who suffered a 0-3 loss to England in their 5-Nations Invitational tournament opener here.

The men’s game started off with a highly intense first half that saw a lot of attacking intent from either sides on Monday. India, however managed to draw first blood and go 1-0 up with Varun Kumar successfully converting the first penalty corner of the game in the 17th minute.

After the lead, India continued to play the pressing game, but were undone by a Kai Aichinger goal in the 22nd minute to concede the equaliser. Three minutes later, Varun converted another penalty corner to put India back into the lead as they went into half time with a 2-1 lead.

In the second half, a stubborn Indian defence managed to keep the Germans at bay. The one clear chance for Germany was from a penalty corner in the final minutes which was palmed away expertly by Vikas Dahiya, to help preserve India’s lead.

With time running out and the score line against them, Germany started committing errors helping India’s Ajay Yadav finish a well-worked counter attack in the 68th minute and give India a well-deserved victory.

The Indians will now take on Belgium on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in the women’s game, India started off very strongly and their defensive organisation denied their opponents any spaces in the opening periods.

But England finally managed to break the shackles and get a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute, when their attempt off a penalty corner was successfully converted by Erica Sanders. Megan Crowson then doubled the lead for England in the final minutes of the first half to go 2-0 up into the break.

In the second half, Crowson once again managed to put the ball in India’s goal in the 43rd minute as India failed top bounce back in the final minutes of the half to go 0-3 down.

The Indian women will next play Spain later on Tuesday night.

–IANS

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