Jr hockey WC: India beat Spain, enter semis

Harendra made the team work on their basics, like keeping your head up before passing. Hockey India

LUCKNOW --- Favourites India overcame a goal deficit to beat Spain 2-1 and make it to the semi-finals of the men's junior hockey World Cup on Thursday. They will now play Australia on Friday for a place in the final.

Simranjeet Singh (57th) equalised for India after Marc Serrahima gave Spain the lead in the first half. The Indians earned nine penalty corners but could convert just two. Harmanpreet Singh's goal from the eighth set piece in the 66th minute won them the game.

The Indians looked completely off-colour in the opening half despite enjoying a good share of ball possession. Spain came out with a tight defensive structure and relied on man-marking to stop the Indians.

Spain took the lead in the 22nd minute through Serrahima's penalty-corner conversion.

Four minutes into second half, Spain almost extended their lead but goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya denied Serrahima.

The Indians continued to attack but goals eluded them as Spanish goalkeeper Albert Perez first denied Armaan Qureshi and then Manpreet (Jr) from the rebound.

India finally scored in the 57th minute from their fifth penalty corner. In the last 10 minutes, they got four more penalty corners and the penultimate one was converted by Harmanpreet.