October 12, 2001

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India too good for Spain

Our Correspondent

India beat Spain 3-0 in their last match to qualify for the second round as the top team from Pool C, in the seventh junior men's hockey World Cup, in Hobart, Australia, on Friday.

India will now be regrouped in Pool F for the second round and will face the second placed team from Pool D in their first round-robin match of the next round. It will be either New Zealand or, who play later in the day.

The match was played in very chilly conditions after rain and wind with low temperature which was experienced during the earlier match between Canada and Scotland had abated.

But despite the temperature falling below ten degrees Celcius, the Indians got into a rhythm immediately. Jugraj Singh, who scored two goals in the opening match against Canada, opened the account for India in the sixth minute, finding the net from a drag flick off India's second penalty-corner.

Down by a goal, Spain, who had big victories over Scotland and Canada, lifted their game in the latter stages of the first half and, with more ball possession, repeatedly threatened the Indian goal, but found the Indian defence hard to crack.

The second half started with a slight drizzle. India adopted short passing tactics to unsettle the hard-running Spaniards and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 39th minute. The speedy senior team member Deepak Thakur got them their second goal, with a rasping drive to the right corner of the goal. It was his sixth goal and made him the leading scorer of the competition.

Eight minutes later captain Gagan Ajit Singh sealed the match for India with another field goal.

The Spanish team made a strong bid to get back into the match but the Indian defence, despite the absence of Jugraj Singh, who had to leave the field following an injury in the 52th minute, held on admirably.

In the dying minutes, the match got a bit scrappy as Spain forced two penalty-corners but without success. Spain's Alberto Esteban and India's Viren Rasquinha were given marching orders. Rasquinha had earlier been shown the green card, in the 41st minute.

Scotland down Canada to take third place in pool

Scotland registered their first success in the tournament, beating Canada 3-1 in intermittent rain in their last match in Pool C.

Scotland went ahead from their third penalty-corner through Jonathan Christie in the 18th minute. They continued to dictate the run of play but were unable to score again till the breather.

After the breather, it was Canada scored first to restore parity through Aneal Basi, who converted a penalty-stroke, which was awarded after Casey Ferguson was checked in his stride.

Scotland immediately stepped up the pressure and scored twice within an attacking spell of two minutes. Laurence Docherty made it 2-1, making the best opf a pass from Niall Stott in the 54th minute before Stott could clinch the issue for the Scots a minute later by scoring from a penalty-corner drag flick.

Scotland took the third place in the four-team pool and will play for the 8th to 16th positions.

Ireland too hot for Chile

Four goals by David Eakins was the highlight of the match as Ireland had things their way in Pool A, beating Chile 4-1.

Eakins opened the scoring in the fourth minute, slamming home his team's first penalty-corner. He then scored thirce again in the 47th, 59th and 61st minutes, after Esteben Krainz had brought Chile on par in the 31st minute, to complete the rout.

Eakins could have finished with five goals but failed to convert a penalty-stroke Allan Kershaw was brought down inside the circle. His weak flick was easily saved by Canales Alfonso in goal.

Despite the big win, Ireland took the third place in the pool after England and Australia played out a goalless draw in the concluding pool match, the last of the day's programme.

Australia waste 'stroke' in 0-0 draw with England

England finished on top of Pool A after holding hosts Australia goalless in the concluding pool match.

The English finished with seven points while the Aussies aggregated five and Ireland four. Chile were pointless

Australia were the better team, making several forays into the English area but crowding out tactics by the English and poor finishing proved their undoing.

Added to their woes, the Aussies failed to capitalise on a penalty-stroke and even one of the four penalty-corners -- to none by England -- they forced.

Craig Lynn was the man who made a mess of the stroke, which was awarded after senior team member Craig Victory was pushed when ideally placed to score. Lynn's push proved too feeble to trouble England 'keeper Paddy Aldridge, who used his left glove to palm the spheroid.

Complete Coverage: 7th Junior Men's World Cup 2001

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