India colts storm into quarters of men’s junior hockey World Cup

Lucknow: India zoomed into the quarter-finals of the men’s Junior Hockey World Cup in style, getting the better of South Africa 2-1, to remain unbeaten in Pool D here on Monday.

Skipper Harjeet Singh led from the front with the opening goal in the 11th minute but the hosts were pegged back in the 28th minute when visitors’ Kyle Lion-Cachet made the most of a penalty corner to restore parity.

Both teams entered the break with the scoreboard reading 1-1.

India got their noses ahead once more in the 55th minute, this time Mandeep Singh sounding the board with a sublime finish on the turn.

South Africa almost scored their second goal but for a superb save by goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya in the 68th minute.

The Harendra Singh-coached side finished on nine points from three matches having previously beaten England 5-3 and Canada 4-0. The one-time champions started in dominating fashion against Canada, then playing out a thriller against England.

Earlier, Australia made it two out of two beating Austria 4-2 to stay top of the heap in pool A and with one foot on the quarters place followed by Argentina who recorded their first win of the competition in resounding fashion smashing five goals past Korea who managed only one consolation strike.

In other matches of the day, the Netherlands recovered from their defeat at the hands of group-toppers Belgium on Sunday to canter to a 7-0 win against wooden-spooners Egypt.

Belgium trounced Malaysia 3-0 to maintain their pole position and secure a quarters berth along with Germany. Group A is now the only open group with Australia — on six points from two outings — playing Korea on Tuesday and England taking on Canada in Group D.