On the last day of the Standard Chartered Bank FIH Junior Men's World Cup here in Johor Bahru, Germany defeated the Netherlands to take their fifth ever Junior Men World Cup title while Australia defeated New Zealand to claim the bronze medal.
Germany defeat Netherlands 3:1 (1:1)
The Standard Chartered Bank FIH Junior Men's World Cup ended with the 82nd match of the competition, the grand finale between the Netherlands and Germany.
It was a top level game between the two European sides, 70 minutes of intense and skillful hockey in a stadium filled beyond capacity with some 6000 plus spectators enthusiastically supporting the sides battling for the ultimate honors in age group field hockey.
The first half was open battle, with slight advantages on the Dutch side, but neither team could get the ball in the net until Mink van der Weerden, topscorer of this tournament, sank his 13th goal in his 9th match to claim the lead for his side. The goal was immediately followed by the equalizer through Marco Miltkau however, and the teams went up until and into the break deadlocked.
In the second half, Germany slowly gained the upper hand, holding the bigger percentage of ball possession and playing with more forward drive than the Oranjes.
Even though the lead eventually came from a goal stemming from a disastrous defensive error, as the Dutch let a long ball along the back line pass for it to find its way to Florian Fuchs alone at the far post who tapped it into the empty goal, the lead was deserved, and Germany was soon to confirm that.
Now on a roll, Germany added their next goal through Jan Fleckhaus minutes later, extending the lead to two goals with nine minutes to go, and that was that: the Netherlands could not avoid the defeat. Germany even had another opportunity with seconds to go but did not convert, with all their thoughts already on the certain big prize.
Germany are thus the new Junior World Champions, while individual awards were handed to Niklas Sakowsky from Germany as Bets Goalkeeper, Mink van der Weerden from Holland as the Topscorer, Florian Fuchs from germany as Man of the Match (Final), and Simon Child from New Zealand as the Best Player of the Tournament. Champions Germany also claimed the Fair Play Trophy.
Australia defeat New Zealand 4:1 (3:0)
In an exciting match between Oceanian rivals Australia and New Zealand, Australia finished a step ahead today, downing the Blacksticks 4:1 despite playing a significant part of the second half one man, and for five minutes even two men, down.
Australia started off the vastly more dangerous team, pushing play back into the Kiwi half of the field for long stretches of time in the first half, and creating a number of good opportunities even before the Bates twins went on a scoring spree, shooting Australia to a 3:0 advantage at halftime.
Timothy Bates started the scoring with a lovely goal from open play in the 14th minute, while brother Michael sank a penalty corner to double the score 13 minutes later. Timothy then piled on another field goal in the 27th minute to give Australia a near insurmountable lead while the New Zealanders seemed to be running on empty, perpetually chasing their opponents.
In the second half, the Junior Blacksticks finally brought a bit more to the game, and Joseph Bartholomew got them on the scoreboard with a penalty corner conversion, but the New Zealanders looked too tired to really break through.
As the game noticeably heated up, Tristan White collected a yellow card that turned into a red after protesting, and New Zealand had the advantage in numbers, an advantage that doubled when Matt Ghodes picked up a yellow card five minutes later, and suddenly it was 11 on 9.
Despite the superiority in numbers, the Kiwis couldn't reduce the Aussie lead however, and weren't even able to create much danger except for one Simon Child solo run that saw his shot go wide. Matt Ghodes returned to make it ten Australians on the field facing eleven Newzealanders, and to add insult to injury, Adrian Lockley scored a fourth goal for Australia, lobbing a ball into the net in a crowded circle.
Australia thus claim the bronze medal, while New Zealand finish fourth at the 2022 Standard Chartered Bank FIH Junior Men's World Cup.