Defending champions India will aim to make successive final appearances as they face six-time title-winners Germany in the semifinal of the FIH Junior Men's Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium, here on Friday. After a disappointing start to the tournament, the Indian team took their game to the next level to make it to the semifinal.
In their quarterfinal match, defenders and goalkeepers survived a wave of attacks against Belgium, while Sanjay Tiwari scored the decisive goal to help India register a hard-fought 1-0 win. On the other hand, Germany eked out a narrow 3-1 win over Spain in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 2-2 in regulation time, to qualify for the semifinal.
Against Belgium, young Indian players showed a calm and composed mindset whenever they were put under pressure. However, it won't be easy against Germany, who would be aiming to reclaim the title after a long wait of eight years.
Notably, Germany last won the Junior World Cup title in 2013 in New Delhi. Since then, a third-place finish in the last edition in Lucknow in 2016 was their best performance.
Unlike Belgium, who played zonal, which gave India a chance to intercept passes, Germany employed man-to-man marking in their quarterfinal against Spain. If Germany plays a similar style against India, then they can force hosts to change their game. In fact, India will have to take the initiative and attack right from the start, which isn't necessarily the team's strong point.
FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2021
Semi-final: India vs Germany
December 3 (Friday), 2021
7:30 PM IST
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
The Men's FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2021 is available on Disney+ Hotstar. Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD and Star Sports 3 will telecast the knockout matches live from December 1 to 5.
India Juniors: Pawan(GK), Sanjay, Shardanand Tiwari, Sunil Jojo, Abhishek Lakra, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Maninder Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Uttam Singh, Manjeet, Gurmukh Singh, Boby Singh Dhami, Sudeep Chirmako, Ankit Pal, Vishnu Kant Singh, Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem, Prashant Kumar Chauhan(GK), Araijeet Singh Hundal, Yashdeep Siwach
Germany Juniors: Benedikt Schwarzhaupt, Hannes Muller, Jean Danneberg, Michel Struthoff, Robert Duckscheer, Masi Pfandt, Erik Kleinlein, Christopher Kutter, Paul Smith, Moritz Ludwig, Maxmilian Seigburg, Antheus Barry, Anton Brinckman, Philip Holzmueller, Nicals Schippan, Mario Schachner, Aron Flatten, Matteo Poljaric