Korea started well the competition, with a close result against the Netherlands before elbowing home team India out of contention win an epic come-back. They then lost to Asian Champions Malaysia in quarter-finals and imploded against Belgium. New Zealand did not do as well this year as in the previous Junior World Cup when they reached the semi-finals, although all their loses here in Delhi were by narrow one-goal margins.
Both teams showed from the start that they were in attacking mood. Seo Inwoo had an early chance for Korea with an open net but he could not control the bouncing ball. New Zealand were threatening on the next action, forcing Korean goal-keeper Yoo Jaeho to come out of nowhere to deny Kane Russell from close range before the same Russell blasted the rebound high in the stands.
Jeremy Morris gave the advantage to the Black Sticks in the 11th minute with a powerful back hand that went through the keeper. Korea came back on par immediately by You Minyoung pouncing on a cross mishandled by the New Zealand defense. Kane Russell continued the scoring spree with a penalty-corner flick that was nearly stopped by the keeper’s stick but still trickled over the line.
Korea were credited with a goal when the ball slightly brushed off the pads of Richard Joyce in the Black Sticks goal and the video-umpire decided on an own goal. The see-saw continued and New Zealand regained the lead just before half-time with another penalty-corner by Kane Russell.
Korea had their first penalty-corner in the 40th minute but ace-striker You Seungju attempted a fancy option that fizzled out. He was equally unsuccessful on their next penalty-corner even after reverting to his trademark direct high flick. Things were not going Korean’s way and they missed in quick succession an open net and two other penalty-corners, not to mention a number of passes and traps that they usually perform flawlessly in their sleep.
New Zealand also missed their good share of chances, starting with a monumental opportunity when Jeremy Morris missed a perfect pass alone on the far post after Kane Russell wiggled his way through the whole Korean defense. There was intense activity back and forth in the final ten minutes of the match, with another missed penalty-corner by Korea. New Zealand earned a penalty-corner literally in the last second of play, allowing Kane Russell to complete a hat-trick.
New Zealand finished in 7th place of the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup, pushing Korea down to 8th.