The Indian Under-18 men’s and womens Hockey team finished their 2018 Youth Olympic Games campaign with silver medals.
While the women suffered a heart-breaking 1-3 loss against hosts Argentina, the men were handed a 2-4 loss by Malaysia in their respective final of the hockey 5s competition on Sunday night.
In the women’s affair, India’s Mumtaz Khan (1’) opened the scoring in the match after just 49 seconds, but the hosts scored thrice through Gianella Palet (7’), Sofia Ramallo (9’) and Brisa Bruggesser (12’) to secure the Gold Medal.
Indian women started the first period well as they attacked the hosts right from the opening whistle, and were rewarded after just 49 seconds as in-form forward Mumtaz scored to give her team a crucial lead.
However, Argentina put the pressure on their opponents to find the equalizer in front of their home crowd and were successful in their efforts as Gianella Palet (7’) and Sofia Ramallo (9’) scored to turn the match around and help their side to a 2-1 lead at half-time.
The second period saw Argentina keep most of the possession, not allowing the Indian team to find space or create chances. It was Argentina’s Brisa Bruggesser who had the first real chance of the second period in the 12th minute, and the Midfielder made sure that she hit the target, giving her team a solid 3-1 lead.
Argentina, backed by their crowd, made sure that they managed the game well, as they kept possession and saw themselves through to the final whistle to register a historic Gold Medal victory.
Coming to the men’s contest, India captain Vivek Sagar Prasad (3’, 6’) scored twice within the first six minutes of the match to give India a 2-1 lead, but the Malaysians struck thrice in the second period through Akhimullah Anuar (14’, 19’) and Arif Ishak (17’) to secure the victory, after Firadus Rosdi (5’) had equalized for them in the first period.
Both the teams started the match well but it was India who struck first through Vivek in the 3rd minute. However, Malaysia were not behind for too long as Firadus Rosdi threatened the Indians in the 5th minute, and struck the equalizer in his second attempt to make the scores 1—1.
The Indian skipper looked in prime form as he forced a save from the Malaysian Goalkeeper Shahrul Saupi in the 6th minute and then managed to beat the Malaysian in the same minute to give India the lead again.
The second period, however, turned out to be a difficult one for the Indian team as they had to face constant pressure from the Malaysians. After having denied Malaysia of levelling the scores, Indian goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan was beaten for the second time in the match in the 14th minute as Akhimullah Anuar scored past him to make the scores 2-2.
Malaysia took the lead on the counter in the 17th minute through Arif Ishak. Having taken a 3-2 lead, it was the Malaysian team who now started to dominate the proceedings, and it was Akhimullah Anuar who popped up again in the 19th minute to seal the Gold Medal win for his team.