The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team won the Silver Medal at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games after suffering a heart-break 2-4 loss to Malaysia in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Sunday.
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.
A fiercely contested Final saw both the teams start the match well but it was India who struck first through their Captain Vivek Sagar Prasad 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.
India’s skipper Vivek Sagar Prasad 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 Malaysians looked for an equalizer again in the remaining few minutes of the first period, but the Indian team held on to see their lead through to the half-time whistle.
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 leveling 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.
India’s Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sanjay, Shivam Anand, Rabichandra Moirangthem and Sudeep Chirmako, all had chances in the next couple of minutes but could not convert as 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 proceedings, and it was Akhimullah Anuar who popped up again in the 19th minute to seal the Gold Medal win for his team as the Indians had to settle for the Silver Medal in their first ever outing at the Youth Olympic Games.
The Indian U-18 Women’s Hockey team will hope to beat hosts Argentina to win the Gold Medal as they take part in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition to be held on 15th October 2018 at 01.10hrs IST.