India clinches the gold medal at the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023

Team India displays magnificent performances at the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 , while the women's tournament is set to commence today

(Sports News) From 23 May to 1 June 2023, the Men’s Junior Asia Cup Salalah 2023 witnessed intense competition among the top young Asian men’s hockey teams. They vied for the coveted gold medal and the remaining three berths in the upcoming FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In Pool A, India and Pakistan showcased their dominance by comprehensively winning three matches each and playing an entertaining draw in their head-to-head encounter. Both teams secured their spots in the semi-finals, with India finishing atop the group due to their superior goal difference. Meanwhile, Pool B saw Malaysia emerge as the leaders, triumphing in all four of their pool matches, while Korea secured the second spot with three wins and a solitary loss against Malaysia.

The semi-finals of the tournament showcased the dominance of India and Pakistan over their respective Pool B opponents. India secured a resounding 9-1 victory against Korea, with Boby Singh Dhami netting a hat-trick and goals from seven different players. In the second semi-final, Pakistan emerged as comfortable winners with a 6-2 triumph over Malaysia, propelled by Rehman Abdul’s impressive three goals.

In the finals, India and Pakistan renewed their storied rivalry. The match was tightly contested, with India taking a 2-goal lead into halftime. Although Pakistan managed to score once in the third quarter, India held their nerve and secured a 2-1 victory, earning the gold medal. In the bronze medal match, Korea defeated Malaysia with a score of 2-1. Consequently, India, Pakistan, Korea, and Malaysia (as hosts) qualified for the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023.

Rehman Abdul of Pakistan and Kumpei Yasuda of Japan finished as the top goal scorers of the tournament, each with nine goals to their name.

C.R. Kumar, the coach of the Indian team, expressed his satisfaction with their success, stating, “Overall, we had an excellent tournament. Winning the gold medal for India is a moment of great pride for our team. Our preparation for the Asia Cup was strengthened by participating in the Sultan of Johor Cup last year. It is also crucial for us to have valuable practice matches against European teams, and we eagerly anticipate our matches against Spain and Germany in preparation for the World Cup.”

Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023

From 2-11 June 2023, Kakamigahara, Japan will host the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023, where the finest women’s junior teams from Asia will compete. The tournament offers three coveted spots for the upcoming FIH Junior Women’s World Cup Chile 2023.

Pool A consists of Chinese Taipei, India, Korea, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan, while Pool B is comprised of China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Kazakhstan.

At the conclusion of the pool stage, the top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals. The losing semi-finalists will compete in the bronze medal match, and the winner of that match will join the two finalists in securing qualification for the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup 2023.

Scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile, from 29 November to 10 December 2023, the FIH Junior Hockey Women’s World Cup 2023 is set to showcase the talents of junior teams from around the globe. Chile has earned qualification as the host nation.

From Europe, Belgium, England, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain have secured their spots in the tournament. Australia and New Zealand have emerged as the qualifiers from Oceania. South Africa and Zimbabwe represent Africa in the competition. The Pan American region will be represented by USA, Argentina, and Canada. Lastly, the final three teams from Asia will complete the lineup of all 16 participating teams in the upcoming World Cup.

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