Bhubaneswar (SB Report):-South Africa will face Korea in the play-off for the 9th – 10th positions after victories against Pakistan and Poland respectively, who will now contest the 11th – 12th classification match. Canada and Chile will face each other in the 13th – 14th classification game, with USA and Egypt – respective losers against Canada and Chile – will play in the 15th – 16th play-off. The matches will all take place on Saturday 4th December.
13th – 16th Place: Canada 4-0 USA
Canada proved too strong for North American neighbours USA in their 13th –16th play-off match, scoring four times without reply to seal their place in the play-off match for 13th position at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021. Canada’s penalty corner routines proved to be the difference between the two sides, with team captain Christopher Tardif, Alexander Bird and Flynn McCulloch all registering PCs before Bird claimed his second of the game from a penalty stoke eight minutes from full time.
“Happy with our performance today”, said Canada’s Alexander Bird, the Player of the Match. “We had a really good fourth quarter against South Africa and we just built on that. We really gave our heart today.”
USA’s Jatin Sharma said: “We played really well in the first quarter but the rest of the match, we did a couple of mistakes, had a few penalty corners against us. We didn’t stick to our game plan and that’s what made the difference.”
13th – 16th Place: Chile 1-0 Egypt
Canada’s opponents in the 13th – 14th classification match on Saturday will be Chile, who battled to a narrow 1-0 win over Egypt in the second game of the day in the Kalinga Stadium. The only goal of the game came a minute into the fourth and final quarter, with Raimundo Valenzuela flicking high into the Egyptian goal from close-range, capitalising on a miss-hit strike from a Chilean team-mate. Egypt hit the post in the latter stages, but it was the Pan Americans who held on for the win to secure their place in the 13-14 play-off game.
“It feels good to finally win”, said a relieved Daniel Beroggi – who was named Player of the Match – after the contest. “It was a tough game but today I think we were convinced and determined to win and finally it worked out. It’s been frustrating so far honestly. I think we’ve been playing good. It’s a tough tournament of course.”
Khaled Elgandy of Egypt, who will now compete in Saturday’s 15th – 16th classification match against USA, said: “We’re not happy with this result. We wish we would have won today. We were determined to get a first win in this World Cup. We tried a lot, but unfortunately, we didn’t manage to win. But we still have one match and we will keep on fighting. We are improving ourselves match after match.”
9th – 12th Place: South Africa 3-3 Pakistan (4-1 on Shoot-Outs)
South Africa are guaranteed to at least match their best finish at a Men’s Junior World Cup after getting the better of Pakistan in the shoot-out following a thrilling 3-3 draw in the third match of the day. Their previous best came at the 2016 competition in Lucknow, but victory in their final match on Saturday would set a new marker for South Africa’s junior team on the global stage. Pakistan opened up a 2-0 lead through Moin Shakeel and Abdul Shahid before Senzwesihle Ngubane pulled a goal back just after half time. Abdul Rehman restored a two-goal lead for the Green Shirts, but South Africa rallied with two goals in just over one minute as captain Guy Morgan rattled home a penalty corner before Idrees Abdulla finished off a glorious team move. Abdulla’s strike took the match to a shoot-out that was dominated by the Africans, who scored all four of their attempts with Moin Shakeel and Abdul Rana both unable to find a way past shot-stopper Taine Bird.
“Shoot-outs are things that we’ve been working on”, said South Africa’s Player of the Match Senzwesihle Ngubane, who netted both in regular time and in the one-on-ones. “We trust our process. It’s all about executing and scoring. Playing as a team is the most important thing. It was a good game of hockey. Credit to Pakistan for giving us a good run.”
Pakistan captain Abdul Rana said: “We were in the lead at half-time and then I think we got a little overexcited. The same opportunities we had in the first half we did not manage to convert them in the second half. South Africa played really well and deserved to win. We need to work on our scoring abilities.”
9th – 12th Place: Poland 2-3 Korea
Two goals from Player of the Match Kim Hyunwoo helped Korea fight back from 2-1 down to claim a 3-2 victory against Poland, a result which sets up a meeting with South Africa in the 9th – 10th classification game. A brilliant penalty corner deflection from Hong Jinyoung gave Korea an early lead before Poland’s Wojciech Rutkowski scored twice to put his team ahead. However, field goals either side of half time from Kim Hyunwoo – the first being a superb backhand strike from the top of the circle – proved to be enough for a Korea victory, forcing Poland into an 11th – 12th play-off match against Pakistan.
“It was a very hard match”, said Kim Hyunwoo. “We won and I’m happy. Our team played a very good defence today. We want to win against South Africa and take 9th place. It will be a hard match.”
Poland’s Robert Pawlak said: “It was a really tough match. Our opponent did really well today, they were better. It was just not our day. Pakistan is a really good opponent to play (in the 11th – 12th match). It will be a pleasure for us to play them.”