Following a resounding 17-0 victory over Thailand, the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team advanced to the Semi-Finals of the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Salalah, Oman on Sunday to face Korea.
The Indian team qualified for the FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 5 to 16 December 2023. India will now face Korea in the Semi-Final of the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 on Wednesday for a place in the summit clash.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team Captain Uttam Singh discussed the upcoming game in a virtual press conference on Monday, saying, “We have a good atmosphere in the camp. One of our tournament goals was to qualify for the FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, which we accomplished. We are one of Asia’s top teams, so it is essential that we perform well in the Junior Men’s Asia Cup as well. We have done well so far, and will look to continue to do so in the Semi-Finals as well.When we prepare at camp, we never know which teams we will face at what stage. Hence, we always keep our plans and targets in mind and do our best to stick to them against any opposition.”
India finished the Pool stage of the tournament unbeaten, winning their first game 18-0 against Chinese Taipei and following it up with a 3-1 win over Japan. Against traditional rivals Pakistan, India earned a thrilling 1-1 draw and then defeated Thailand 17-0 to top Pool A.
Meanwhile, Korea has also been in good form this tournament, having defeated Uzbekistan 6-1 and followed it up with an 8-1 win over Oman. Korea lost 1-3 to Malaysia but bounced back to beat Bangladesh 3-1 to finish in the second spot in Pool B. The last time India’s Junior Men’s Hockey Team faced Korea was in the 2013 Hockey Junior World Cup Men, which ended in a 3-3 tie. Since 2005, the two teams have met five times, with each team winning twice and one game ending in a tie.