India takes on Belgium in the final of the Junior Hockey World Cup at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow. It’s going to be a make-or-break day for Harjeet Singh and his boys in a tournament that has produced many new stars.
This tournament over the years has seen a lot of them going on to become Olympic and world champions, such as Lucas Villa and Pedro Ibarra — the stars of Argentina’s Junior World Cup-winning team in 2005, who helped their country win the Olympic gold at the Rio Olympics this year.
Coach Harjeet and his boys now have the chance of scripting history for India in the final on Sunday. India last won the Junior World Cup in 2001, their only title at this stage and now stand at the cusp of victory after 15 years.
To succeed in the final, India need to continue to keep it simple and enjoy their game and avoid conceding early goals and should maintain the physical and mental tempo throughout 70 minutes.
Coach Harendra Singh told Hindustan Times, “Now, it’s in the hands of the boys to decide the colour of the medal they want to take home. They have to play good hockey for just 70-minutes and the gold will be theirs. This is what I have told them.”
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Senior team coach Roelant Oltmans, who is acting as manager of the junior side, believes that the boys must play to their full potential on Sunday. “It’s time for the perfect game and that we are going to show on Sunday. Our players will bring their best hockey in the most important match of the competition,” said Oltmans.
A full house is expected on Sunday as all tickets have already been sold out and fans will cherish the moment supporting the home side. “I haven’t seen such frenzy for the game of hockey in India and that too for junior hockey in the last many years,” organising secretary RP Singh told Hindustan Times. He added, “It’s good that the game is being followed like cricket in India.”
What time is the final?
The final match will be played at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow at 7 PM (IST).
Which TV channel will air the final in India?
Star Sports 4 will air the final match live.
Where can it be seen online?
It can also be watched online at Hotstar and Olympic channel.