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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

USA came from behind to stun Egypt 3-0 via shootout in the 15th-16th place match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup amid torrential rain at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The keenly-contested match ended 2-2 in the regulation time. In the ensuing shootout, USA pierced the net thrice out of their five chances. However, Egypt players succumbed to the pressure and failed to find the target even once. For USA Tymen Kloen, Finlay Quaile and skipper Jatin Sharma successfully hit the target during the shootout. However, Abdelrahman Elganayni, Khaled Elgandy and Ziad Adel missed the target for Egypt.

Earlier in the regulation time, Egypt started aggressively and Elganayni opened the account as early as in the first minute of the match. He went on to double the lead in the 24th minute. The first quarter was dominated by Egypt with a 2-0 lead.

USA came back strongly thereafter. Though the second and third quarter ended goalless, Mehtab Grewal scored the first goal for USA in the 53rd minute. He went on to score the equaliser and his second goal in the 60th minute to push the match to the shootout.

Both the skippers heaped praise on the facilities at the Kalinga Stadium.

“It was a great experience to play in the torrential rain. It was also a great exposure for all our players to play in such a mega tournament at this beautiful stadium. Our guys have been bolstered by this exposure which will keep them in good stead for the future,” said USA captain and Indian-origin player Jatin Sharma.

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