Austria and Australia both claimed significant wins in Pool A while home favourites India took control of Pool D on the third day of action at the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016, currently being played in India.
In Pool A, Austria made it four points from a possible six with a remarkable 5-2 victory over Korea. Following their surprise draw with Argentina on Friday, the side coached by Cedric d’Sousa produced another disciplined performance, with Pit Rudofsky (2), Marcel Hilbert, Oliver Binder and Franz Lindengrun scoring the goals to put the Austrians top of the pool. “When we performed five weeks ago our quality wasn’t there, but our preparations and performances here in India have been fantastic”, said Austria’s Florian Streyrer. “It’s unbelievable. The fighting spirit is there, as everyone could see, and now we need to rest and recover before a tough match against Australia.” The Australians kicked off their title challenge with a narrow 2-1 triumph over Argentina, with a late penalty stroke from Olympian Blake Govers giving the Burras all three points after Matthew Bird’s opener was cancelled out by Argentine captain Maico Casella. With just one point from their opening two matches, Argentina’s title challenge is currently hanging in the balance.
There were also two matches in Pool B, with host nation India and South Africa both claiming victories. India’s passionate crowd were silenced by an early goal from England’s Jack Clee before strikes from Parvinder Singh and Armaan Qureshi gave India a half time lead and reason for the fans to cheer. India turned the screw in the second period, with Harmanpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Varun Kumar putting the result beyond all doubt. England rallied in the latter stages with Will Calnan and Edward Horler reducing the deficit, but India were deserving winners and will now look to complete the pool phase with a 100 percent win record when they face south Africa on Monday. Earlier in the day, South Africa kept alive their hopes of a quarter-final berth with a 3-1 win over Canada. Brandon Pereira gave Canada the lead with a well-executed penalty corner, but strikes from Kyle Lion-Cachet, Ryan Crowe and Walter Pfaff ensured that all three points went the way of the African silver medallists.
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