Junior Indian Men’s Hockey Team held their nerves to beat Malaysia 2-1 in the penalty shootout after 4-4 stalemate in regulation time to win the Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers here on Saturday. In the Women’s Final, Salima Tete led-Indian team lost 1-4 to China as they ended their campaign as runners-up. The five-day tournament was a qualifying event for Youth Olympic Games 2018 to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina which will follow the futuristic Hockey 5’s format.
In the Men’s Final, after 0-0 stalemate in the first quarter, Malaysia made the first breakthrough after Mohamad Anuar scored in the 11th minute but India upped their ante in attack as they struck an equalizer in the 12th minute through Rahul Kumar Rajbhar. Later, skipper Vivek Sagar Prasad fetched India 2-1 lead with his scintillating goal in the 14th minute. Muhammad Moharam however equalized the score to 2-2 soon after in the 15th minute.
India stuck together to put two goals into the post in the 18th and 20th minute through Vivek Sagar Prasad and Rahul Kumar Rajbhar respectively as India took a 4-2 but slight slump in the defence saw them concede two goals in the 26th and 30th minutes of the final quarter to end the regulation time at 4-4. In the shootout, however, India scored through Rabichandra Moirangthem and Rahul Kumar Rajbhar while Prashant Chauhan did well to keep the Malaysian attackers from converting as India pulled off a thrilling victory.