(cross-over 5-8) - Belgium vs. Korea: 6-1 (half-time: 1-0)
Just a day after been booted of contention in the quarter-finals, it was a difficult match for both teams, especially for European Champions Belgium, widely expected to go all the way in this Junior World Cup.
Match started at a half-hearted pace. Belgium had some chances, including on an early penalty-corner, but play was marred by unforced errors and passes going astray. Belgium bobbled another penalty-corner, Korea wasted a three-on-two counter-attack, Alexandre Vanlinthoudt with time and space at the top of the circle blasted a shot wide and high in the stands…
Belgium finally scored on their third penalty-corner by Alexander Hendrickx in the 27th minute, but it was all they could produce and the break was reached with a meagre one-goal lead for the Europeans.
Belgium opened second period with two quick field goals by Maxime Plennevaux and their captain Mathew Cobbaert. The Korean players were clearly not at their best, accumulating the defensive errors and unable to string three passes in midfield. Gaetan Perez and Maxime Capelle added two more goals for Belgium within the same minute and the road seemed impossibly steep for the visibly exhausted Korean defenders.
With twenty minutes to go and the result not in doubt any more, Belgium gave some turf time to their alternate goal-keeper in replacement of Arnaud Flamand, who had hardly seen any action. Korea had a lone chance on a penalty-corner but top scorer of the competition You Seungju was way off target.
Korea finally scored on another penalty-corner by Nam Yunseon, temporarily filling in while You Seungju was resting in the sin bin. Belgium scored one more goal by Dorian Thiery with a sweet lob over diving Korean goal-keeper Lee Seyoung, and the European Champions ended with a clear win to book their birth for the 5th-6th classification match.
For more information and pictures of BEL vs. KOR, click here.
(cross-over 5-8) - Australia vs. New Zealand: 2-1 (half-time: 1-1)
Second cross-over 5-8 pitted Australia and New Zealand, the two teams that played for bronze medal in the last Junior World Cup. The Oceania rivals were clearly familiar with each other and play was neutralized in midfield for the opening twenty minutes.
New Zealand drew first blood in the 20th minute by Jared Panchia on penalty-corner, but Australia responded in the next breath by Cameron Joyce, also on penalty-corner. Australia had a slight edge on the proceedings, but the teams went into the break locked at one goal apiece.
Australia took the lead in the 44th minute, after a quick run by captain Daniel Beale on the right and a perfect pass to Dylan Wotherspoon alone in front of Ben Smith in the Black Sticks goal. The Kookaburras thought that they had made the break in the 52nd minute by Tyler Cowley, but the goal was disallowed by a video-referral.
New Zealand were awarded a penalty-corner with ten minutes to go but were denied by an excellent diving save by Edward Chittleborough. The Black Sticks pulled their goal-keeper with two minutes to go but could not really create much with the numerical advantage on the field. Score stayed close until the end, but Australia had a good handle on play and booked themselves a date to play Belgium for 5th place, while New Zealand will now play Korea for 7th place.
For more information and pictures of AUS vs. NZL, click here.