India lifted the hockey Junior World Cup for the second time, beating Belgium 2-1 in the final in Lucknow on Sunday. Gurjant Singh and Simranjeet Singh gave the hosts a commanding lead at half-time and Fabrice Van Bockrijck got one back for Belgium right at the end, but India held on for a historic triumph.
India had previously won the title in the title in 2001 and were beaten finalists in 1997, and become the first team to win the tournament as the host nation.
India got two penalty corners in the first seven minutes but yet again, they struggled to convert, squandering both the chances. Luckily for India, they got into the lead just a minute later through Gurjant Singh’s clinical reverse hit.
India were enjoying more than 60 percent of the possession and Simranjeet Singh doubled the advantage for his side. Again, it was a reverse hit that got the better of Belgian stopper Loic van Doren.
Belgium, like India, also failed to score from penalty corners and failed to win the momentum back just before half-time.
Simranjeet Singh failed to convert another penalty corner, this time on the other side of the interval. Belgium piled on plenty of pressure in the final quarter of the game but Indian keeper Vikas Dahiya put an inspiring display to thwart the attacks. Belgium scored late in the 70th minute through Fabrice Van Bockrijck but India held on to win.
India 2 (Gurjant Singh, Simranjeet Singh) beat Belgium 1 (Fabrice Van Bockrijck)