Friday, December 1, 2023

Goals galore, 70 in five games, at Hockey Junior World cup

Five men’s games and 70 goals. That was day two at the Junior Hockey World Cup as the gulf in class at under-21 level was very much evident in Bhubaneswar.

Spain set a record for goals scored at the event in a single match as the European side put 17 goals past the USA. The previous record was a 13-0 victory for India against Singapore at the 1982 Junior World Cup.

Wins were recorded by Argentina, Netherlands, Spain, France and India, and a display of attacking hockey in all five matches meaning no match saw fewer than eight goals rattling home.

Argentina got their campaign off to a flying start when they netted 14 times against a determined but error-prone Egypt.

While the Netherlands will be happy to have started with a win and to have scored an impressive 12 goals, head Coach Michiel van der Struijk will be concerned at the defensive errors that allowed Korea to score five times in response.

In Miles Bukkens, the Netherlands have found a goal-scoring supremo. The forward showed speed, flair and awareness to score five.

Argentina may well have thought they had posted the top score of the day, but Spain had other ideas. USA held the European side at bay for seven minutes but then the floodgates opened. Manuel Rodriguez scored twice in the opening quarter, Guillermo Fortuno scored twice in the final minute of the game and another 13 goals were scored in between in a 17-goal blitz.

France continued their sparkling start to the competition with another energetic performance that put them firmly at the top of Pool B after a 7-1 win. Corentin Sellier scored three goals for France, adding to the one he scored against India the previous day.

India then bounced back from their loss at the hands of France to defeat Canada 13-1.

Both Sanjay and Player of the Match Hundal Singh scored hat tricks.

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