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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Canada put up an improved show by eking out a narrow 2-1 victory over listless Chile in the 13th-14th place match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

While John Jacoby (40th) and Tanvir Kang (52nd) pierced the net for Canada, Agustin Amoroso (57th) got one back for Chile.

Canada dominated most parts of the game with deft and skilful manoeuvring of the hockey ball with fast passes. On the other hand, Chile players were found struggling for pace and coordination.

After a goalless first half, John Jacoby struck the first goal of the match with a fierce hit into the net in the 40th minute. Bolstered by the strike, Canada players increased their intensity and momentum to put tremendous pressure on the opposition. Tanvir Kang found the target in the 52nd minute with a skilful jab to double their lead.

Chile tried their best to make amends and came back with an aggressive strategy during the fag end of the match. They continuously surged into the opposition D and were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 57th minute. Agustin Amoroso dully converted it with a brilliant drift only to reduce the difference of goals.

“We had to fight with Covid-19 and raise funds for ourselves back home to take part in this mega event. Considering our struggle, it was a pretty satisfying run in the tournament,” said Canada skipper Manveer Jhamat who is also an Indian-origin player.

“Initially we struggled a lot to find our feet in the tournament. But, gradually our intensity grew and it got reflected in our performances. Our guys will use the rich experience, gained from this tournament, in their future endeavours effectively,” said Jhamat.

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