FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup: Germany ends India’s title defence

The Indian hockey team went down 4-2 to Germany in the semi-finals. India will face France in the third-place playoff on Sunday.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Hockey India

The Indian hockey team lost to six-time champions Germany 4-2 in the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World 2021 semi-finals at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

The loss brings India’s title defence to an end and Graham Reid’s boys will now face France in the third-place playoff match on Sunday. Uttam Singh and Boby Dhami were India’s scorers in the semis.

Germany - the most successful team in the history of the tournament – looked the more dangerous side from the start and created early chances. Max Siegburg missed a sitter in the fourth minute and seconds later, Indian goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan was called into action to divert a German penalty corner away from his goal.

India slowly started getting on the ball more but couldn’t create any meaningful scoring opportunities in the first quarter.

It was the Germans who broke the deadlock in the closing seconds of the opening quarter as another penalty corner was blocked by Prashant but Erik Kleinlein was at hand to push the rebound home.

Germany was also on the front foot in the second quarter and added to their lead in the 20th minute. After a bit of ping-pong around the India penalty circle, Philip Holzmueller’s drive took a wicked deflection off an Indian defender and looped over substitute keeper Pawan.

German captain Hannes Muller made it 3-0 four minutes later with a beautifully-worked team goal.

Seconds later, though, India’s Uttam Singh sparked hopes of a comeback with a nifty close-range finish but Christopher Kutter scored a penalty stroke in the very next minute to restore Germany’s three-goal lead.

Trailing 4-1 at half-time, India had a mountain to climb in the final two quarters.

India piled on the pressure to reduce the deficit in the third and fourth quarter, but the German defence stayed solid to frustrate the hosts and ensured a title clash against Argentina. Boby Dhami scored for India in the dying seconds of the match to make the final score 2-4.

India made it to the quarters after finishing second in Pool B, where they beat Belgium 1-0 to advance to the semis.

FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2021 semi-final results

France 0 (0) – 0 (3) Argentina (Argentina won through penalties)

Germany 2 – 4 India

FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2021 final and 3rd place playoff schedule

December 5

3rd place playoff: France vs India – 5:30 PM IST

Final: Argentina vs Germany – 7:30 PM IST

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