Men's Jr World Cup: France edge South Africa as Germany, Australia, Argentina register big wins

France, Argentina, Australia and Germany won their respective matches in the final games from Pool A and Pool B matches in the FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023.

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dec 8 (IANS) France, Argentina, Australia and Germany won their respective matches in the final games from Pool A and Pool B matches in the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023.

The games from Pool A consisted of some fairly convincing results for both Australia and Argentina.

Defending Champion Argentina punched another stamp of confidence onto their campaign as they beat Chile 8-0, resigning the Chileans to their bottom spot, with the Argentinians finishing on top of Pool A.

In the other game, Australia finished their pool stage with a 5-2 victory over Malaysia to decide second and third place. Having only lost to Argentina so far, the Australians fell into second place, whilst the tournament hosts rested in third.

France’s high-octane back-and-forth win over South Africa kept them on top of Pool B, continuing their perfect record in the tournament so far.

Elsewhere in the group, Germany registered a more convincing 10-0 win over Egypt, forcing themselves into second place, leaving Egypt last with no points and South Africa settled in the third-place spot.

The most action-packed game of the day saw nine goals scored in the first half as France beat South Africa 5-4. With the starting buzzer still ringing in South African ears, France netted two field goals in the first four minutes.

The game then found some relative calm, before South Africa sparked it into frantic life yet again with a field-goal reply in the 14th minute. France then converted a penalty corner a minute later to put themselves 3-1 up, before South Africa scored their own penalty corner within the same minute.

With the score at 3-2 going into the second quarter, punches did not stop being thrown by either side. South Africa wrestled the score back to 3-3 in the 21st minute, a goal that was answered a minute later by a French field goal to restore their lead.

Three minutes of peace was interrupted by Cameron Le Foriester’s second field goal of the game, which equalised the game once again. France then took two minutes to find their fifth goal, the final one of the quarter, the half and the game.

Two wasted penalty corners from South Africa in the third quarter, followed by France failing to convert one in the final quarter, left the game at 5-4, with France managing to just about extend their blisteringly early lead to the final buzzer.

–IANS

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