(1/4 final) - Malaysia vs. Korea: 2-1 (half-time: 1-1)
Asian Champions Malaysia had been hugely impressive since the beginning of this Junior World Cup, and were pitted in this quarter-final against Asian rival Korea, who had shown strong character in their last pool match against India to come back from a 2-goal deficit and edge the local team out of contention.
Malaysia survived two penalty-corner scares against ace Korean striker You Seungju in the initial five minutes of play. Contrary to form, You Seungju missed another attempt. Malaysia were more efficient at the other end and Shahril Saabah capitalized in an opportunity in the 18th minute. They could have deepened the gap soon after, but only found the post, and shot wide yet another penalty-corner attempt.
You Seungju redeemed himself when he hit the target on his forth penalty-corner attempt and the teams went into the break back to back, with total indecision on the possible outcome of the match.
Beginning of second period was somewhat messy, neither team wanting to give an inch and tempers flaring often. Malaysia had the territorial edge but could not capitalize on the opportunities they created and Korea where still keeping their heads above water going into the last ten minutes of the period.
Malaysia were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 62nd minute when Shahril Saabah hit the target with a powerful drag-flick in goal after a perfectly executed penalty-corner. Korea tried to engineer another comeback but could not break-down the Malaysian defense and the Asian Champions were on their way for the semi-finals for the first time since they hosted the Junior World Cup back in 1983, much to the ecstatic pleasure of their numerous fiery fans.
For more information and pictures of MAS vs. KOR, click here.
(1/4 final) - Australia vs. Germany: 3-4 (half-time: 1-1)
Exciting quarter-final between two giants of the game. Australia had finished with maximum points in Pool B, while Germany suffered a defeat at the hands of Belgium on opening day.
After a tactical round of observation, Australia drew first blood when Tyler Cowley pounced on a ball mishandled by the German defense and took his time to find William Gilmour unmarked in the middle of the circle. Germany quickly regained their composure and Christopher Rühr put the teams back on par with a low penalty-corner in the 21st minute.
Germany had more opportunities at the end of the period, but the break was reached on a 1-1 tie. Play remained locked in midfield for the first twenty minutes of second period, with few real chances at either end. Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when he received the ball in the circle with his back to the goal, faked to go one way but turned the other and blasted the ball in the ceiling of the net.
The German celebration was however short-lived as Dylan Wotherspoon scored on the next action for the Kookaburras to level the score. The floodgates were now opened and Germany regained the lead in the next minute by Mats Grambusch, the third goal in so many minutes!
Australia pulled their goalkeeper with 5 minutes to go to try and come back in contention, but it immediately backfired as their defense lost the ball and Niklas Wellen did not miss the chance to give his team a more comfortable 2-goal cushion. Dylan Wotherspoon scored his second goal of the evening to close the gap to one unit, but Germany used all the extent of their experience and technical skills to control the end of the match, setting up an explosive semi-final date with the Netherlands, a remake of the 2009 Junior World Cup final.
For more information and pictures of AUS vs. GER, click here.
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