India got the better of England 5-3 in Pool D to virtually assure themselves a quarter-final spot in the men’s Junior Hockey World Cup here on Saturday.
Jack Clee’s field goal in the 10th minute gave England the 1-0 lead, leaving the Indian camp worried. But the hosts slowly clawed their way back and found the goals through Parvinder Singh (24th minute), Armaan Qureshi (35th), Harmanpreet Singh (37th), Simranjeet Singh (45th) and Varun Kumar (59th).
Trailing 1-5, Will Calnan (63rd) and Edward Horler (67th) reduced the goal difference to two for England.
This win took India’s tally to six points from two matches. Earlier they had thrashed minnows Canada 4-0. Harendra Singh-coached India will now look to complete the pool phase with an all-win record when they face South Africa on Monday.
England and South Africa occupy the second and third positions respectively with three points each. England had beaten South Africa in an earlier match to gain the position to be second on the table.
Canada, who earlier in the day lost to South Africa 1-3, are fourth in the pool with no points. They also have a poor goal difference which should come into play in deciding the quarter-finalists from the pool.
Meanwhile, Austria and Australia both claimed significant wins in Pool A. Austria made it four points from a possible six with a remarkable 5-2 victory over South Korea.
Following their surprise draw with Argentina on Friday, the side coached by Indian Cedric D’Souza produced another disciplined performance, with Pit Rudofsky (2), Marcel Hilbert, Oliver Binder and Franz Lindengrun scoring the goals to put the Austrians top of the pool.
Australia kicked off their title challenge with a narrow 2-1 triumph over Argentina, with a late penalty stroke from Olympian Blake Govers giving them all three points after Matthew Bird’s opener was cancelled out by Argentine captain Maico Casella.
With just one point from their opening two matches, Argentina’s title challenge is currently hanging in the balance.