World Cup of Junior Hockey: Demoralized India takes revenge against France in bronze medal match

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World Cup of Junior Hockey: Demoralized India takes revenge against France in bronze medal match


BHUBANEWAR: With title defense hopes shattered, a demoralized India would seek to end the disappointment quickly and pull itself together as it seeks revenge against France in the Cuban Cup bronze medal play-off. FIH world junior hockey here on Sunday.
Defending champion India’s quest for a second straight Junior World Cup title ended after suffering a 2-4 loss to six-time winner Germany in the semi-finals on Friday.
Germany will meet Argentina in the summit clash, while the Indians will have the opportunity to avenge their 4-5 loss to France in their first game of the tournament.
But to finish on the podium, the Indian juniors will have to raise their level of play by leaps and bounds, and repair their botched show against Germany.
The Indians, who won the last Junior World Cup title in Lucknow in 2016, seemed a pale shadow of themselves against Germany.

Consistency is something that the Indian game lacked from the start. The hosts haven’t played clear hockey in any tournament game so far.
And that’s something that would bother head coach Graham Reid, who is in charge of the junior team in this tournament after guiding the senior team to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Against Belgium in the quarter-finals, the Indian defense was extraordinary but the same backline was caught napping by the Germans on Friday.
Yashdeep Siwach, vice-captain Sanjay Kumar, Shardanand Tiwari and Abhishek Lakra failed to control the German press and they would be looking for a much better exit on Sunday to at least land a consolation third place.
Reid had no qualms about admitting his protections were lacking in all areas of the game against Germany.
“Germany has shown what we need to do on defense. They were in front, they tackled the ball well, they tackled as a group. If you are to win on the world stage at this level, the basics have to be flawless, he said after Friday night’s game.
“We created opportunities but they were not of quality. We have to go out on Sunday and avenge the first game we played against France. ”
Against Germany, there was no cohesion between the midfielder and the striker, only Uttam Singh showing his shine in patches.
With four quality penalty corner specialists in the squad at Sanjay, Araijeet Singh Hundal, Tiwai and Lakra, India’s weapon is settled, but they only got one against Germany as Sanjay could not use.
The Indian players seemed to be running out of ideas when the ball was in their possession.
Instead of trying to get penalty corners, the Indians were guilty of hanging on for too long and dribbling too much inside the opposing circle.
The coach said the Indian players’ decision-making must be precise against France if they want to finish on the podium.
“Smart players decide then and make better decisions. Our decision making was not as good as it should have been (against Germany). It was visible at all ends of the field.
“Our decision was not up to par in midfield either. Ultimately that’s what gives you at the bottom line the ability to make good decisions inside the circle, ”said Reid.
With heavy showers and high winds forecast on Sunday due to Cyclone Jawad landing near Puri, which is about 65 km from here, ground conditions are expected to be difficult on the last day of the flagship event. juniors.



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