Thursday, June 11, 2009


India have put themselves in a tight spot after losing 3-2 o Holland at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium in Singapore.

And the 2001 champons could well be staring at an early exit as Holland became the first team to book a berth in the second round.

India has only four points from four matches and will play Poland tomorrow night to wrap up their fixtures.

The Indian defeat opens the path for New Zealand to make the second round as they are expected to take their points tally to 7 as they play whipping boys Singapore later tonight.

Not only are New Zealand expected to pick up the three points but they will also be aiming to pile up the goals as their current tally is +7 before the match against Singapore whereas India’s tally stands at +9.

Should New Zealand hold Holland to a draw, then the goal difference will not come into play, no matter how many goals India score in their match against Poland.

“We only have ourselves to blame as in the final five minutes we had three penalty corners with Holland down to nine men but still failed to equalize,” said team manager Anupan Ghulati when contacted.

“Now our fate is no longer in our hands and we just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow night.”

Needing at least a draw to keep their hopes bright to make the second round, India failed to take full advantage despite taking the lead in the 5th minute through Antil Mandeep.

Holland equalized in the 10th minute when Mink van er Weerden converted a penalty corner.

Three minutes later Holland went ahead with Weerden scoring off another penalty corner. Weerden got his hattrick by converting another penalty corner in the 51st minute to make it 3-1.

Although India grabbed their second through Kullu Innocent two minutes later, they missed a bagful of chances and could well be playing in the 9th to 16th placing.

In another match played in Singapore, Japan defeated Chile 3-1 while in Johor Baru Belgium trashed Russia 6-1 while England beat USA 4-0.

Belgium put Russia immediately under pressure and although they had a couple of penalty corners it was Jeffrey Thys, who scored the first goal after 13 minutes.

Belgium missed several opportunities out and two minutes before the end of the first half Russia gained their third penalty corner. Russia´s captain Alexey Mayorov equalized.

Belgium can make the second round if they defeat Pakistan tomorrow.

Australia and Germany became the second and third teams based in Singapore for the Junior World Cup to book their place in the second round when they played to a 1-1 draw at the Sengkang Stadium.

Australia opened scoring in the 21st minute through Matt Ghodes with Germany equalizing in the 65th minute via Marco Miltkau.

In Johor Baru, Pakistan has almost booked their place in the second round , coming twice from behind to edge Argentina at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

Argentina scored in the 7th minute through Leandro Tolini but Pakistan equalized at the stroke of halftime through Abbas Haider.

Argentina went ahead again in the 55th minute through Santiago Montelli but Pakistan drew level when Muhd Irfan scored in the 59th minute.

Mohd Zubair scored the winner with four minutes left on the clock and although Pakistan played with 10 men after Abbas Haider was shown the red card in the 68th minute, the green shirts held out to collect all three points.

Meanwhile South Korea also virtually booked their second round spot when they defeated reigning European champions Spain 1-0.

The solitary goal was scored by Seo Jin Su in the 49th minute and even when Korea were down to 10 men when Kim Kyun Hun was sent to the sin bin in the closing stages of the match, Spain failed to find the equalizer.

And Spain must hold hosts Malaysia to a draw tomorrow to make the second round. A Malaysia win will give the hosts a place in the second round and keep their hopes alive to achieve the top four target set by the Malaysian Hockey Federation.

Spain took the field without Roc Oliva who injured his hamstring in the match against England on Tuesday.

But Spanish coach Salvador Indurain remain confident that they will make the second round.

“Roc was rested as we did not want to take a chance against the Koreans and risk getting him injured again and missing the rest of the tournament,” said Indurain.

“We need a draw while Malaysia has to win. So I remain optimistic that we will make it through.”

Meanwhile New Zealand laboured to a 3-1 win against Singapore thus giving India a lifeline to make the next round, assuming Holland defeat the Kiwis.