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India beats Belgium to win the Junior Hockey World Cup

India on Sunday came out with a magnificent display of aggressive hockey as they defeated Belgium 2-1 in the summit clash to win the Junior Hockey World Cup here at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium.

The Indian under-21 team dominated the European side right from the start, pressing from both the flanks. Gurjant Singh broke the deadlock with a magnificent reverse hit past the Belgian keeper in the eight minute of the match. Gurjant trapped a scoop from Sumit and sent the ball into the goal with a rasping drive to score his second goal of the tournament.

14 minutes later, Simranjeet Singh doubled India’s lead with a classy finish from the edge of the circle.

The Harjit Singh-led side was flawless in the second half of the game as well except the dying moments of the game wherein Belgium scored the consolation goal through penalty corner.

The under-21 Indian hockey players came into the final after thumping wins in the group stages that saw them hand out 4-0 and 5-3 defeats to Canada and England respectively before South Africa tested the home side but still ended up on the losing side. In the semifinal, the Harjit Singh-led side defeated Australia 4-2 in penalty shootout to set up the summit clash against Belgium.

India won their first junior title, way back in 2001, when they beat Argentina 6-1 at Hobart, Australia. It was their back-to-back final, after losing the 1997 final to Australia by 2-3 at Milton Keyes, England.

After Germany, India has become the second nation to win the title more than once.


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