Lautaro Domene scored a hat-trick of penalty corners to help Argentina become men’s Junior World Cup champions for the second time in their history, beating Germany 4-2 in a superb competition final in Bhubaneswar.
Domene’s achievement was made more remarkable by the fact that Argentina won just three penalty corners in the entire match, with the drag-flicker finishing with a 100% conversion rate as his team added a second men’s Junior World Cup title to the one claimed in Rotterdam in 2005.
The result ended Germany’s quest for a seventh men’s Junior World Cup title and brought the curtain down on a superb competition at the Kalinga Stadium.
Earlier in the day, France – inspired by Player of the Tournament Timothée Clément – defeated India to claim the bronze medal while Netherlands and Spain were respective winners over Belgium and Malaysia in the 5-6 and 7-8 classification matches.
Here are details of all the matches played on Sunday, as well as final standings and the competition award winners:
1st – 2nd Place: Germany 2-4 Argentina
In a magnificent contest, Argentina produced the most clinical of displays to overcome the six times champions, with a perfect penalty corner conversion record and an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Nehuen Hernando proving vital.
Lautaro Domene netted penalty corner drag-flicks in each of the first two quarters, leaving Germany with a mountain to climb in the remaining 30 minutes. And climb it they did, with Julius Heyner – earlier given a 10-minute yellow card suspension for a coming together with Argentina’s Joaquin Toscani – firing home from close range before Masi Phandt’s deflected penalty corner effort rocketed into the roof of Hernando’s goal with 13 minutes remaining.
However, Domene made it three penalty corner conversions from three attempts in the 50th minute before Hernando pulled off some astonishing saves to deny Germany another equaliser.
Argentina sealed their second men’s Junior World Cup title when Franco Agostini fired into an empty net in the final minute, with Germany having replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player in a final attempt to salvage the situation.
“We cannot explain our feelings in this moment”, said Lautaro Domene, the Player of the Match.
“It is difficult to know what we are thinking. We knew that this team could do it. We played together, as we have done in the other games. We committed as a team, and that is the most important thing. It is a craziness that we cannot explain, what it is to win this tournament. It’s beautiful, and we are very proud of this team.”
Germany captain Hannes Muller said: “First of all, congratulations to Argentina for their win. I think the first half was not good for us. Too many technical mistakes, not enough pressure on the ball. The second half was a little bit better but, in the end, we lost the final. At this moment it’s hard to understand that.”
3rd – 4th Place: India 1-3 France
France captain Timothée Clément netted his fourth hat-trick in six matches at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021, firing his team to the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over host nation India.
The home side dominated the early stages and even managed to hit the post, but France grew into the contest and edged ahead four minutes before half time thanks to Clément’s superb penalty corner drag-flick.
Clément netted another penalty corner early in the third quarter, but India hit back through Sudeep Chirmako’s brilliant reverse scooped finish to leave give his team hope in the latter stages.
It was Clément however, who would have the final say, with his deflected fourth quarter penalty corner effort completing his personal treble and securing a superb bronze medal for this hugely gifted young French team.
“What an emotion!”, said France captain Timothée Clément, who was named Player of the Match. “Two days ago, it was very difficult to lose in the semi-final. It was very important to finish like this. We have a bronze medal. It’s just amazing! And this team is perfect. Wow! We are very happy for French hockey. The future generation is here and I think we have a really, really great future.”
India’s Vivek Sagar Prasad said: “It was a really good match, a very close one. Congratulations to the French team! We’re very disappointed. As players, we will all work to improve in the future.”
5th – 6th Place: Belgium 4-6 Netherlands
The Low Countries derby battle for fifth position went the way of the Netherlands, who earned a 6-4 victory against Belgium. The Netherlands raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Miles Bukkens (2) and Brent van Bijnen before Belgium hit back through Thibault Deplus.
Bukkens completed his hat-trick just before half time to take the score to 4-1, but two goals in three third quarter minutes from Roman Duvekot pulled the Belgians to within one goal of their opponents. However, strikes from Guus Jansen and Casper van der Veen sealed the win for the Netherlands, with Belgium’s Jeff de Winter scoring the final goal of a thrilling match eight minutes from full time.
“We had a good game plan, We started really well and scored four goals”, said Guus Jansen, the Player of the Match.
“In the first part of the second half, we lost it a bit but with the good work of the whole team we managed to take the win home. That’s a great feeling. Overall, it’s a little shame that we didn’t finish first. That’s what we came for. But after all, we won a lot of games, we lost one a little bit unfortunate. But after all, great World championships! Very happy.”
Belgium captain Dylan Englebert said: “We were not used to concede as many goals as today, so we lack a little bit of focus in this part. For sure the second half was better, but they played well, both defensively and offensively. Congrats to them.
“For sure, we’re a bit disappointed to not have reached the semi-finals because we felt we had a good opportunity to go to it but I think we showed a lot of good things, with a strong team that plays together, that defends well. That’s why we are a little bit frustrated today to end with 6 goals against.”
7th – 8th Place: Spain 4-1 Malaysia
Spain were victorious in the 7th place play-off match, powering to a 4-1 triumph over Malaysia in a rain delayed contest at the start of the day.
Malaysia opened the match scoring in the 4th minute through team captain Akhimullah Anuar’s field goal, with parity being restored by Eduard de Ignacio-Simo’s open play effort three minutes later. The two sides were locked together until 11 minutes from the end of the contest, when Pau Cunill fired home from a penalty corner.
Late penalty corner goals from both Pepe Cunill and Pau Cunill ensured victory went the way of the Spaniards, with Malaysia finishing the competition in eighth position.
“We had really tough matches and we’ve learnt from these matches”, said Spain’s Pepe Cunill, the Player of the Match.
“So, at half-time, we told us that we had to get through this match and put a lot of energy in it. I’m happy to end up this tournament with a win, but I think that we could have achieved another position in the final standings.”
Malaysia’s Akhimullah Anuar said: “We all gave our best. We played our game. We had a lot of chances, but we missed. Spain took every chance and scored. Throughout the tournament, I think our performance improved. But we still have more to improve in the future.”
Best Player of the Tournament: Timothée Clément (FRA)
Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Anton Brinckman (GER)
Top Scorer of the Tournament: Miles Bukkens (NED) (18 goals)
Fair Play Award: Team Chile
Fans Choice Award for Best Goal of the Tournament: Ignacio Nardolillo (ARG)
Maximum Team Goals: Netherlands (45 goals)
Best Goal Saved of the Tournament: Mahmoud Seleem (EGY)
Best Coach of the Tournament: Johannes Schmitz (GER)