Top India beats Poland 8-2 to prepare for quarter-finals against Belgium

Sanjay Kumar, Araijeet Singh Hundal and Sudeep Chirmako each scored a brace as defending champions India beat Poland 8-2 to advance to the quarter-finals of the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup here on Saturday .

After scoring hat tricks in the first two games, vice-captain Sanjay (4th, 58th) continued his streak for India while Hundal (8th, 60th), who scored a hat trick against Canada, also recorded its name on the results sheet.

Chirmako (24th, 40th) also contributed to the team’s victory while Uttam Singh (34th) and Shardanand Tiwari (38th) were the hosts’ other scorers in the Pool B match.

Poland scored its two goals in the fourth and final quarter thanks to Wojciech Rutkowski (50th) and Robert Pawlak (54th).

India will now face Belgium, finalists of the last edition, in the quarter-finals on December 1.

Belgium dominated Pool A ahead of Malaysia on goal difference after the two finished with seven points each.

After a shocking 4-5 loss to France in their first game of the tournament, India beat Canada 13-1 in their second group game to stay alive in the competition.

Facing Poland in a must-see final group game, the Indians started from where they started against Canada on Thursday and put pressure on the Polish goal from the start.

Their efforts paid off in the fourth minute of the match when star dragflicker Sanjay scored his seventh goal of the tournament, again from the penalty spot.

The Indians remained aggressive and four minutes later doubled their lead with another penalty corner, this time from Hundal’s stick.

Sudeep tripled India’s lead in the 24th minute with a nice field goal to enter the half leading 3-0.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Uttam increased India’s lead with another strike from the field before Tiwari converted a 38th-minute penalty corner to make it 5-0 in favor of India.

Sudeep found himself in the thick of it again, scoring another field goal in the 40th minute.

Trailing 0-6, Poland came out offensively in the last quarter. They got a barrage of penalty corners and found the net twice to close the gap.

But India ended on a high note as Sanjay and Hundal scored on the pitch to register an emphatic victory for the hosts.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the day’s matches, Pakistan beat Egypt 3-1 in Pool D while France topped Pool A with a winning record spanking Canada 11-1.

Malaysia beat South Africa 4-3 to advance to the quarter-finals as the second-best team in Pool A, while Belgium dominated the pool after beating Chile 3-0.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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