Monday, June 08, 2009


The first match of the Junior World Cup got underway after a heavy afternoon thunderstorm threatened to create havoc.

However the rain eased up an hour before the matches started and Belgium took on Egypt in a battle of the minnows from Group A.

Belgium defeated Egypt 5-1, scoring three goals in the closing stages of the match to take all three points.

Maximillien Peters scored off three penalty corners to register a hattrick in the match.

Belgium weathered the early Egypt onslaught and took the lead through their first penalty corner of the game in the 23rd minute.

Bel van Strydonck sent in a low flick that deflected off Egypt keeper Ahmad Sayed.

Play swung from end to end without any clear cut goal scoring chances being created. Halftime Belgium lead 1-0.

In the 37th minute Belgium doubled their lead when Egyptian keeper Ahmad Sayed failed to clear the ball and Renaud Pangrazio had the simplest task to slot home.

But Egypt hit back in the 43rd minute through Houssam Ghabran to reduce the deficit.

However the floodgates opened in the last five minutes as Belgium scored three goals.

Peeters scored off a penalty corner in the 67th and 69th minutes before Alexandre de Paeuw scored the fith in the 70th minute.

Pakistan opened their Junior World Cup campaign with a 7-2 emphatic win over Russia at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

However the scoreline was indeed flattering as Russia put up a strong resistance before two quick goals snuffed the fight out of the Russians.

Still coach KM Junaid was happy with the win as he said that opening matches could be tricky.

“All that matters is a win and its good that we scored seven goals. Things were a bit rusty in the first half but my players found their footing in the second half,” said Junaid.

Pakistan were given a rude awakening when Russia were awarded a penalty stroke in the 7th minute. But skipper Alexy Mayoro failed to beat Pakistani custodian Sibtian Riza Syed.

And in the very next minute Russia paid the penalty when Haseem Khan scored to give Pakistan a 1-0 lead.

Pakistan then took the initiative, mounting attacks on both flanks but failed to make much headway as the Russian defence held firm. However their persistence paid off when Shafqat Rasool scored in the 21st minute.

Russia forced their first penalty corner in the 28th minute and Alexey made no mistake as his powerful flick found the top of the net to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

In the second half it was Russia who looked more dangerous but their finishing was awful.

Pakistan increased the lead in the 49th minute through Haseem who scored off a goalmouth melee. But Russia reduced the deficit through a penalty stroke converted by Yankun Nikolav in the 52nd minute.

Any thoughts of a fightback was quickly diminished as Pakistan scored through Muhamad Zubair (53rd minute), Khasif Ali (56th minute and 70th minute), Haseem (66th minute) to take all three points.

Faizal Saari almost ended up as the villain for Malaysia in their Junior World Cup opening match against England at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

He was shown the yellow card in the 18th minute and sat in the sin bin for a good 12 minutes before returning to the pitch.

But he ended up as a hero as he scored the opening goal in Malaysia’s 1-0 win over England, barely one minute after being back onto the pitch.

Malaysia, started off brightly and made several moves along the left flank but were devoid of ideas in the final 25. Still it was a bright start for the home team with the crowd of 5,000 willing them all the way.

Faizal almost scored again in the 49th minute but his effort was splendidly saved by England keeper Ian Scanlon.

Malaysia were awarded their third penalty corner in the 53rd minute, this time it was David Beckett who denied Faizal with Scanlon beaten.

England forced two penalty corners in the 62nd and 63rd minutes but could not capitalize as the Malaysian runners held their ground.

The Malaysian players celebrated as did the crowd but the face a stern test against South Korea tomorrow night.

Meanwhile in another Group C match, South Korea sounded their intentions by trashing United States of America 7-0.

In the matches played in Singapore, Holland defeated joint hosts Singapore 8-0, Germany beat Chile 5-0, New Zealand 8 Poland 0 while Japan and South Korea drew 1-1.