The Indian men’s junior hockey team on Sunday beat Belgium 2-1 in the final in Lucknow to lift their second World Cup title. India had last won the Junior Hockey World Cup in 2001.
Backed by the home crowd, India dominated the game from the start and looked threatening with every attack. Gurjant Singh opened the score for his team in the 8th minute, delighting a large crowd with a wonderful reverse stick goal from a steep angle from the left side. Just fourteen minutes later, Simranjeet Singh doubled India’s lead with a great strike from the edge of the circle to make it 2-0.
India could have made it 4-0 before half-time but failed to convert two penalty corners in the first half.
The second half saw Belgium attacking more but Indian defence stood strong, Goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya who pulled off an exceptional save in the 53rd minute to deny the opposition. Fabrice Van Bockrijck scored right at the end to pull one back for Belgium, but India held on to win the title.
The triumph caps an excellent tournament for India, which they have dominated since the beginning. The team won all six of their matches in the tournament and conceded only seven times. India also became the only team besides Germany to win the Junior World Cup more than one time.