We reached the last day of competition with different definitions for each of the positions in the standings, with the great and expected final.
OMAN 2 VS THAILAND 1 (7-8th Place)
The first match of the day for the 7-8th Place was between Oman and Thailand in search of being as high as possible in the standings with two teams that struggled a lot in this tournament.
The match was very even with Oman taking the first step in the 25th minute when after a lot of trying in the opponent’s goal they were able to convert their first goal with a goal executed by AL BALUSHI Hudhaifa and put the red team in the lead.
Thailand did not want to be left behind and in the 40th minute managed to equalize with a goal by PHUMEE Kritsana that gave KIM Jung Chul’s team some breathing space.
Although both teams had chances to score, it was Oman who in the 54th minute, through its player BAIT Hussam, scored the final goal to take the seventh place in this new edition.
The best player of the match was Usam Hakim, Oman’s player number 24, who had an excellent performance.
JAPAN 5 VS BANGLADESH 1 (5-6th Place)
The second match of the day was to define the fifth and sixth place, where both teams were able to achieve great results in this tournament demonstrating the future that both junior national teams have for the future of their countries.
The team in white did not take long to score and after 6 minutes of play TANAKA Tsubasa put the first 1-0 to give the Japanese team an early lead. Just two minutes later SHIGEYAMA Taiga made it 2-0 with a penalty corner.
Bangladesh tried to play their game, but the methodical team in white did not leave any space for the team in red to enter the circle.
Japan stepped on the gas and after 12 minutes made it 3-0 with a goal by TANAKA Tsubasa again, who accumulated 7 goals in the tournament.
With the 3-0 SAEKI Ikumi extended the lead and made it 4-0.
In the 47th minute, RASHED Mamun’s team was able to convert with a goal by ALI Md.
With the match 4-1 MATSUZAKI Yuito made it 5-1 to confirm that Japan would take the fifth place while Bangladesh took the sixth place in this championship.
The best player of the match was TANAKA Tsubasa, player number 15 who was the scorer of this match.
KOREA 2 VS MALAYSIA 1 (3-4th Place)
The match for a place on the podium was between Korea and Malaysia, two teams that had great victories in this edition and that managed to strengthen their junior teams in international tournaments giving them experience and energy for everything to come.
It was a very even match, one of the most even of the tournament, having the first goal only in the 22nd minute with a goal by LIM Dohyun to give the partial victory to this moment, since Malaysia did not leave any opportunity where they could enter the circle and shoot at the goal.
The team led by RAHIM Amin equalized in the 26th minute with a goal by Adam Ashraf.
After great performances by the goalkeepers to prevent goals in their goal, in the 37th minute, YOO Seungho gave the final advantage to his team with a goal that would give the blue team the third place.
With this result Korea achieved a great victory that leaves them in the third place, getting into the top 3 Junior teams of the continent.
The best player of the match was YOO Seungho, the author of the last goal and the most important since with his goal Korea got the third place.
INDIA 2 VS PAKISTAN 1 (FINAL)
The day of the grand final arrived, with a stadium full of people with a mind-blowing night, India and Pakistan with their junior national teams made it to the last match of the tournament.
Knowing the experience and history that these two countries have in field hockey, it was expected a match with a lot of back and forth, a lot of physical effort and above all intelligence when choosing the game.
Thus, after 13 minutes of play, India managed to score the first goal of the match by Singh Angad Bir and made the stadium explode to put his team on the top of the podium.
The green team did not want to be left behind and with their fast game they managed to reach the opponent’s area, but without success at the time of defining. India took advantage of every counterattack they had and in the 20th minute Hundal Araijeet Singh managed to get past the Pakistani goalkeeper to give his team an even greater advantage and make it 2-0, allowing the blue team to dream of first place.
However, OLTMANS Roelant’s team fought till the end, taking advantage of every chance they had and in the 38th minute, ALI Basharat made the Indian team tremble with a goal to make it 2-1 and make the match even more exciting.
Both teams had more chances to score, but the defenders of both teams and their goalkeepers managed to do a great job to prevent that from happening.
In the end, the match ended 2-1 and India was crowned Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 champion for the fourth time in its history with its junior teams.
Pakistan on the other hand completes its ninth appearance in this tournament having won it three times in the past and taking the second place for the fourth time in its history.
Player of the match was India’s captain, Uttam Singh who led his team to their fourth championship.
Congratulations to all teams!
by Asia Hockey