Quarterfinals of the Junior Hockey World Cup: India vs South Korea

After three victories in three matches, India will aim to maintain their winning streak against South Korea and book a place in the semi-finals of the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup for women.

Here’s everything you need to know about the quarter-final match in Potchefstroom, South Africa:

When is the match? April 8, Friday at 16 IST.

Where to see: Live on Watch Hockey and Fancode.

India’s progress so far

India topped Group D with nine points after three matches. They opened their campaign in the best possible way, beating Wales 5-1 and following it up with a tough 2-1 victory against Germany. Six points from two games ensured they qualified for the quarter with one game to spare. In their last group game, India continued their streak with a 4-0 victory over Malaysia.

What worked for India

Salima Tete and co. have been quite impressive in the tournament and scored 11 goals in three matches, which underlines their ability to convert chances.

While the team’s attacking play reaped the rewards, it was their defensive display that made the difference against Germany, who are one of the favorites for the trophy. India endured a barrage of attacks from Germany after taking an early lead with their best moment from goalkeeper Bichu Devi, who excellently saved a penalty in the second quarter. Germany struggled to break India’s defense for much of the match and it required a brilliant individual run from Jule Bleuel to score a goal in the final minutes. India, however, soaked up the pressure and came over with a 2-1 victory.

The addition of experience has also helped. Apart from three Olympians on the team, a few players made significant progress, resulting in a call to the senior squad. Bichu is one of those players and she credited her confident display to the experience of playing with the senior team.

“I think the exposure was very important to me. While I was nervous and felt the pressure during my Pro League debut match, I am able to play here without pressure and with a free mind. We have entered in this tournament with a burning desire to win and I think we show that attitude on the field, “said Bichu.

The same thoughts were repeated by the vice-captain, Ishika Chaudhary. “Many of us have been playing together for more than three years now, there is a good team bond and we understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. But getting to play with the seniors over the last few months and working with them for FIH Pro The league matches were a big advantage. “

“It helped us understand the structure better, and some of us who made our senior team debut gained a lot of confidence. This has benefited us a lot in our campaign.”

Players who impressed

Striker Mumtaz Khan has been productive so far, scoring five goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick against Malaysia. Goalkeeper Bichu Devi also proved his skill in crisis situations. The biggest strength for India, however, has been the influence of Salima Tete, Sharmila Devi and Lalremsiami – who have already played regularly for the senior team. Salima’s presence in midfield has been huge for the team as her relentless attacking play created many problems for India’s opponents.

South Korean form

Unlike India, South Korea fought in the group stage and won only one match against Uruguay. They lost their last two matches to Argentina and Austria, and finished in second place in their group after Argentina. They scored only once in three games and conceded three goals. The winner of this match is likely to face the Netherlands in the semi-finals, who have been sensational with 38 goals in three matches, while not conceding a goal.

Where could India fight

Regarding South Korea’s game plan, Ishika said: “Yes, speed has been our advantage and Korea is a team that can slow down their opponent. This is something we want to be aware of and we try to work around it and focus on to create space. “

India are starting fast and they have been successful in creating scoring opportunities and translating them. South Korea’s deep defensive tactics can lead to frustration, and India can be vulnerable to counterattacks.

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