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India storm into final

Goal-keeper Vikas Dahiya was the star performer for India who edged out Australia in the Junior World Cup Hockey Championship on December 16.

India storm into final
The Indian juniors celebrate their victory over Australia


India won the semi-final after a 2-2 deadlock in regulation time and a 4-2 result in penalties. India meet Belgium in the final. Australia took an early lead in the first half when Tom Craig put his team ahead in the 14th minute converting a penalty-corner. Gurjant Singh made a darting run towards goal before unleashing a fierce reverse hit to equalise in the 42nd minute. 

Six minutes later, Mandeep Singh put India ahead. With a brilliant one-two inside the circle, Mandeep found the back of the net. With 13 minutes to go, Australia pulled level through a Lachian Sharp goal. In the penalties, Sumit, Harmanpreet, Harjeet and Manpreet scored for India. Dahiya made crucial saves in the shootout and allowed Australia to score only two goals. 

Earlier, Belgium made it a memorable year for their national team when they entered the final defeating Germany 4-3 in penalty shootouts. After their, stupendous show in the Olympics this year, the Belgian juniors too rose to the occasion when they did well to contain the Germans goalless at the end of the regulation time.

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