Germany, the defending winners of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2023, defeated the reigning champions, the Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team, 4-3 in a thrilling match contested on Friday in Santiago, Chile. While Germany’s Sophia Schwabe scored at 17 minutes, Laura Pluth at 21 and 36 minutes, and Carolin Seidel at 38 minutes, Annu, Ropni Kumari, and Mumtaz Khan of India scored at 11 minutes, 14 seconds, and 24 seconds, respectively. India found their passing game quickly and controlled the opening quarter, pounding Germany’s defence with constant pressure.
Due to Germany’s formidable defence, India was unable to score until the very last seconds of the first quarter, despite their best efforts. The Indian team was under continual attack and earned two penalty corners; Annu scored the opening goal for her team with a powerful shot from the second corner (11′).
Ropni Kumari deftly converted a second penalty corner in the 14th minute, further establishing India’s dominance only moments after they equalised. India got off to a fantastic start, leading 2-0 at the conclusion of the first quarter.
With a renewed feeling of purpose, Germany entered the second quarter prepared to reverse the previous one. Sophia Schwabe scored a magnificent field goal in the 17th minute to reduce Germany’s advantage, proving that their efforts were not in vain. After 21 minutes, Laura Pluth scored a fantastic stroke to even the score. The momentum kept going. A press release states that in response, India’s Mumtaz Khan scored a goal in the 24th minute that gave her team a 3-2 lead at halftime by neatly beating the goaltender.
India tried to keep the ball for the most part of the third quarter to keep their lead, but Germany scored to make it 2-2. Laura Pluth equalized in the 36th minute with her second goal. Carolin Seidel gave Germany the lead from a penalty corner in the 38th minute as the Germans stepped up their attacks, buoyed by their comeback.
As if seeking retribution, India increased the frequency of their assaults. Regardless of their efforts, Germany maintained a 4-3 lead at the conclusion of the third quarter.
Germany almost doubled their lead in the fourth quarter as both teams played aggressively. Indian goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo produced a miraculous save in a one-on-one situation, denying Germany a great chance to extend their lead. India, meanwhile, earned two penalty corners in the dying minutes but failed to score from either. With a scoreless fourth quarter, Germany emerged victorious, 4-3.
Just fourteen minutes after the goal broke the deadlock, Ropni Kumari (14′) doubled India’s advantage with a well executed volley from another penalty corner. The first quarter ended with India up 2-0.
As the third round of the competition approaches, the Indian side will face off against Belgium on December 2 at 19:30 IST.
After establishing dominance in the first quarter, India relentlessly pushed Germany’s defence throughout the match. Despite early attempts, Germany’s resolute defence kept India scoreless until the last seconds of the quarter.