Monday, June 15, 2009


Germany, Holland and Australia have assured themselves of a place in the semi finals of the Junior World Cup.

The fourth spot will be determined on Wednesday as both South Korea and New Zealand are in the running.

The Kiwis need only a draw against Australia while South Korea need the Aussies to win and they will have to score at least three goals past Pakistan to sneak through on goal difference.

While Germany survived a scare to beat Spain 5-3 after leading 3-0 at one stage, Australia were comfortable 3-1 winners over South Korea in the match played in Singapore.

And hosts Malaysia too stayed in contention to make the 9/10th placing as they came from behind to register a 3-1 win over South Africa as Poland were held to a 1-1 draw in Singapore.

Germany sounded their intentions to book their place in the last four as they went 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes.

Martin Haener converted two penalty corners in the 7th and 15th minutes before Felix Oldhafer added the third in the 19th minute.

But Spain did not yield even though they were down 3-0 and their fightback started in the 28th minute through Gabriel Dabanch. Two minutes later the deficit was reduced to 3-2 when Diego Arana scored.

Suddenly Spain were on fire but Tobias Matania increased the German advantage in the 43rd minute only to see Dabanch reduce it to 4-3 in the 46th minute.

Try as they did Spain could not find the equalizer as Germany scored their fifth in the 63rd minute through Marco Miltkar.

Australia scored two early goals at Matt Ghodes scored in the 6th and 14th minutes with Timothy Bates scoring the third in the 54th minute.

South Africa scored first when Anthony Vervoot converted a penalty stroke in the 16th minute.

Malaysia were undaunted and drew level through Faizal Saari, who scored is seventh goal of the tournament, in the 19th minute.

Mohd Nor Hafiq scored in the 63rd minute to put Malaysia 2-1 ahead and Izwan Firdaus rounded up the scoring by deflecting a penalty corner set piece in the 67th minute.

Holland arrived in Johor Bahru some five hours before their match against Argentina.

And upon stepping into the lobby of the Puteri Pan Pacific Hotel, they made a beeline towards the Junior World Cup trophy which was being displayed.

One could see the hunger in the eyes of the Dutch players as they admired a trophy that has yet to be hoisted by a victorious Dutch team.

“It is a beautiful sight,” said Holland coach Paul van Ass.

“Hopefully this time around we can do what so many before us have failed to achieve, that is to take it home with us.”

That dream could well turn into a reality as Holland defeated defending champions Argentina 3-1, and in the process became the first team to qualify for the semi finals.

And for Argentina, the dream of retaining the trophy has evaporated, and not since the Germans stranglehold in the 80’s has any team successfully retained the trophy in succession.

Holland took the lead in the 24th minute when Jan Willem Buissant’s low push during a penalty corner caught Argentina keeper Federico Bermejillo off guard.

But Holland lost their numerical advantage the very next minute as Valentin Verga was sent to the sin bin.

Argentina pressed Holland into deep defence and scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute when Guido Martin Barreiros Lopez deflected in past Pimin Blaak in the Dutch goal.

Holland scored their second through Mink van der Weerden in the 48th minute when he picked up a penalty corner rebound to sent an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

And five minutes later the Dutch extended their lead when skipper Klaas Vermeulan deflected past Argentina custodian Fedrico Bermejillo.

Pakistan have bowed out of contention from the semi finals of the Junior World Cup when they lost to New Zealand 4-2 at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium in Singapore.

The win gives the Kiwis a great chance of making the semi final as they have four points from two matches. A draw against Australia on Wednesday will suffice, that is if Australia win their match against South Korea later tonight.

The Kiwis had a great start, scoring two goals in the opening 12 minutes through Nick Wilson (8th minute) and Stephen Jennes who converted penalty corner (12th minute).

Pakistan pulled one goal back through Muhamad Waqas in the 15th minute and were on level terms in the 45th minute through Abbas Haider.

Their joy was however short lived as the Kiwis surged into a 3-2 lead thanks to Hugo Inglis two minutes later. And Simon Childs put the issue beyond doubt by scoring the Kiwis fourth goal in the 62nd minute.

In the 9th to 16th classification matches, Japan defeated England 2-1 at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

Japan scored in the first minute through skipper Ryota Kubo but England equalized in the 42nd minute via Chris Griffiths.

Kubo assured his team of all three points by scoring the winner in the 58th minute and Japan stay in contention for a 11/12th placing should they beat Belgium on Wednesday.

In Singapore, India defeated Belgium 4-0 and need a draw against England on Wednesday to make it to the 9/10th placing match scheduled for Saturday.