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  Junior Men Hockey World Cup: France stun India
24 Nov 2021

France caused a gigantic upset on the opening day of the Junior Men Hockey World Cup, scripting a sensational 5-4 triumph over hosts and reigning champions India in their Pool B match at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar today. Belgium, Germany, Poland and Malaysia also posted wins in four other pool league matches of the day.

France captain Timothee Clement was the main architect of their victory over title holders, scoring three goals. Clément and Benjamin Marque established a 2-0 lead inside the opening seven minutes, with India restoring parity through Uttam Singh and Sanjay before the end of a pulsating first quarter.

Penalty corner goals either side of half time earned Clément a hat-trick and took the score to 4-2 before he produced a stunning stick save on his own goal-line from an India penalty corner. A composed finish by Corentin Sellier moved France closer to victory with 12 minutes to go before a second goal by Sanjay and third strikes of the match set up a dramatic finish. However, France held on to secure a famous win over India on home soil, giving coach Aymeric Bergamo a dream start to the World Cup campaign.


“We won as a team, not as a single person, we won together”, said Clement - who represented France men at the 2018 Mens World Cup in Bhubaneswar - after the game. “It is incredible, and I am very happy for the team. To start the competition in this way is perfect. It is important that we continue and win the other games because the competition is very long. It is not finished.”

DUVEKOT SHINES IN BELGIUM WIN: 2016 Junior World Cup silver medallists Belgium made the perfect start to their competition by claiming a 5-1 victory over South Africa in the opening Pool-A match of the day. Roman Duvekot put Belgium into the lead seven minutes into the contest from a penalty corner, but South Africa hit back with a PC when Jaques van Tonder netted on the stroke of quarter time. Nelson Onana restored the lead for Belgium with a second quarter field goal before the Europeans kicked on after half time. Duvakot, who was named Player of the Match, claimed a second goal from open play before strikes from Arnon van Dessel and Rik van Cleynenbreugel wrapped up all three points.

GERMANY TOO GOOD FOR PAKISTAN: Six times Junior World Cup champions Germany cruised to a 5-2 victory over Pakistan in their opening Pool-D fixture, with Robert Duckscheer scoring twice to be named Player of the Match. Germany had the ball in the Pakistan net inside the opening sixty seconds when a strike by Michel Struthoff deflected into the goal via a Green Shirts stick before Duckscheer added a second field goal just before the end of the first quarter.

Pakistan hit back through Abdul Shahid early in the second quarter, but Maximilian Siegberg and Benedikt Schwarzhaupt took the score to 4-1 before Germany goalkeeper Anton Brinckman saved a penalty stroke ahead of the half time break. Muhammad Hammadudin gave Pakistan hope when he found the net with 11 minutes left to play, but a second of the match by Duckscheer put the result beyond all doubt.

POLAND EDGE OUT CANADA: Poland claimed a narrow 1-0 triumph over Canada in the third match of the day in Pool B, giving the Europeans a wonderful platform to build on as they attempt to reach the competition quarter-finals. The only goal of the game came from the stick of Eryk Bembenek, who slapped home a penalty corner from the top of the circle in the 34th minute. It proved to be enough for the Poles to claim all three points, although Canada missed a glorious chance to get on the score-sheet through a penalty stroke just before half time, with a powerful flick by Roopkanwar Dhillon hitting the left post rather than the back of the net.

MALAYSIA DOWN CHILE: Two brilliant penalty corner goals in the third quarter helped Malaysia overcome a strong challenge from Pan American champions Chile, with the team from Asia emerging 2-1 winners. Both penalty corner routines were perfectly executed, with Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin smashing home the opening goal in the 34th minute before superb angled deflection by Syarman Mat in the 43rd minute established what proved to be an unassailable lead. A fine backhand strike from a penalty corner by Sebastian Wolansky gave Chile a glimmer of hope, but it was Malaysia who deservedly took all three points from the contest.  

RESULTS (November 24):

Match 1 (Pool A): Belgium
(Roman Duvekot 7-PC, 45-FG; Nelson Onana 24-FG, Arno van Dessel 55-FG, Rik van Cleynebreugel 58-FG) beat South Africa (Jacques van Tonder 15-PC) 5-1. Player of the Match: Roman Duvekot (BEL).

Match 2 (Pool D): Germany (Michel Struthoff 1-FG, Robert Duckscheer 14-FG, 54-FG; Maximilian Siegburg 19-FG, Benedikt Schwarzhaupt 22-PC) beat Pakistan (Abdul Shahid 18-FG, Muhammad Hammadudin 49-FG) 5-2. Player of the Match: Robert Duckscheer (GER).

Match 3 (Pool B): Poland
(Eryk Bembenek 34-PC) beat Canada 1-0. Player of the Match: Jakub Chumenczuk (POL).

Match 4 (Pool A): Malaysia
(Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin 34-PC, Syarman Mat 43-PC) beat Chile (Sebastian Wolansky 59-PC) 2-1. Player of the Match: Amirul Azahar (MAS).

Match 5 (Pool B): France
(Timothee Clement 1-FG, 23-PC, 32-PC; Benjamin Marque 7-FG, Corentin Sellier 48-FG) beat India (Uttam Singh 10-FG, Sanjay 15-PC, 57-PC, 58-PC) 5-4. Player of the Match: Timothee Clement (FRA).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PICS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOP: France captain Timothee Clement with his Player of the Match award in Bhubaneswar on 24 November 2021.
RIGHT: Sanjay (No 7) celebrates with teammates after completing his hat-trick against France on 24 November 2021.


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