Men's Jr Asia Cup hockey: Archrivals India, Pakistan in same group; to meet on May 27

Mumbai, May 19 (IANS) Archrivals India and Pakistan have been grouped into the same Pool in the 10-team Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 to be played at Salalah, Oman from May 23 to June 1. They will clash in a much-anticipated encounter on May 27 in a Pool-A match.

The best young Asian men’s hockey teams will compete in the top event for junior men in the Continent for the title and the three spots up for grabs for the upcoming FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The ten participating teams have been split into two pools, with Pool A comprising Chinese Taipei, India, Japan, Pakistan and Thailand. In Pool B hosts Oman will be joined by Bangladesh, Korea, Malaysia and Uzbekistan.

Each team in the pool stage will play the other four teams in their pool once.

The top two teams in both pools will qualify for the semifinals, while the teams in third and fourth positions will compete for the 5-8 place classification. The teams finishing in fifth place in both pools will go head-to-head to avoid finishing in tenth place.

The losing semifinalists will play in the bronze medal match, with the two finalists and the bronze medalists qualifying for the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup 2023. Malaysia, as hosts, have already qualified for the World Cup, so if Malaysia enter the semifinals of the Junior Asia Cup, all the other three teams making it to the last-four stage will gain entry into the World Cup as well.

The FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 5-16 December 2023. Malaysia have qualified as the host of the competition.

Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain have qualified from Europe as the teams that were classified in the top-5 at the EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022. Australia and New Zealand have also qualified through the Oceania Junior World Cup Qualifiers 2022. South Africa and Egypt are the qualifiers from Africa finishing as the top two teams at the Junior Africa Cup 2023. Argentina, Canada and Chile are the three qualifiers from Pan America. The three top teams from Asia will complete the full set of sixteen teams that will compete for the title at the FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.

In Salalah, the Indian junior men’s team will start its campaign against Chinese Taipei on May 24 and will take on Japan on the next day. After a day of rest, India will clash with Pakistan on May 27 and then wrap up their campaign in Pool A with a match against Thailand on May 28.

IANS

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