Ending a 15-year drought in the Junior Hockey World Cup, Team India put in a complete performance against Belgium in the summit clash on Sunday to be crowned the new World Champions. Indian youngsters triumphed 2-1 over their Belgian counterparts.
World Champions!Tremendous scenes in Lucknow as India reclaim the #JuniorHockeyWorldCup!Congrats, @TheHockeyIndia #HJWC2016 pic.twitter.com/0E1d4fEvvl— ScoopWhoop News (@scoopwhoopnews) December 18, 2016
First half goals from Gurjant Singh and Simranjeet Singh put India 2-0 up at half time. Both goals were results of excellent finishes from the edge of the circle. Belgium’s sole goal was a mere consolation as it came through a penalty corner after the final hooter had already gone off.
The win resulted in crazy celebrations in front of a full-house in Lucknow.
Gurjant was declared man of the match for his stunning opening goal — a powerful reverse hit from the left edge of the circle.
This was India’s third appearance in the final and they have now won the trophy twice. It was also the first time in the tournament’s history that the host nation has won the coveted trophy.
(Read: An interview with Harendra Singh, the eccentric, hard-working coach of the Junior Indian Hockey Team)
The Indian team entered the final of the men’s Junior Hockey World Cup after a hiatus of 15 years in front of a packed Major Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium in Lucknow on Friday by coming from behind against Australia before winning in the penalty shootout.
India, who last won the Junior World Cup way back in 2001 in Hobart, played some scintillating hockey to reclaim the title, facing a Belgium side known for its tenacity.
India are now the only team apart from powerhouses Germany to win the Junior World Cup twice. Germany, six-time champions, finished with a bronze in Lucknow after defeating Australia in the bronze medal playoff.
Congratulations, Team India!