FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023: Pool B Preview

23 November, 2023

As part of our build-up to the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023, we bring you the second of four Pool previews which examines the qualification routes, past form and crucial players from the teams that will compete at the showpiece event in Santiago, Chile.

Argentina, Korea, Spain and Zimbabwe all feature in Pool B, with a top two finish being the only way to secure a place in the competition quarter-finals and thus maintain hopes of Junior World Cup glory.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 2

How they qualified: 5th place – FIH Hockey Junior World Cup South Africa 2022

Junior World Cup history: 2022 – 5th, 2016 – 1st, 2013 – 2nd, 2009 – 2nd, 2005 – 5th, 2001 – 2nd, 1997 – 3rd, 1993 – 1st, 1989 – 6th.

About the team: With two gold medals, three silvers and one bronze, Argentina have an impressive record in the women’s Junior World Cup. A fifth-place finish at the 2022 edition in Potchefstroom was only the third time in the competition’s history that the giants of Pan American hockey have failed to medal, something they will be determined to correct in Santiago, the city that staged their last Junior World Cup title success in 2016. Earlier this year, Las Leoncitas produced a fine set of performances at the Junior Pan American Championships, defeating Uruguay (4-0), USA (2-0) and Canada (1-0) to reach the gold medal game. However, the team could not get over the line, with USA taking the title in a shoot-out after regular time finished with the scores level at 1-1. The team selected by head coach Juan Lopez contains three players who helped Argentina’s senior women’s team to glory at the recent Pan American Games 2023, with Juana Castellaro, Sofia Cairo, and Valentina Raposo – an Olympic sliver medallist from Tokyo 2020, no less – all returning to the same Santiago pitches in search of more silverware. 


FIH Junior World Ranking: 7

How they qualified: 2nd Place – Junior Asia Cup 2023

Junior World Cup history: 2022 – 6th, 2016 – 12th, 2013 – 11th, 2009 – 3rd, 2005 – 1st, 2001 – 1st, 1997 – 5th, 1993 – 4th, 1989 – 2nd.

About the team: As the Junior World Cup champions of 2001 and 2005 as well as being silver medallists in 1989 and bronze medallists in 2009, Korea have a fine reputation in this competition. They have competed in all nine previous editions, having bounced back from poor results at Mönchengladbach 2013 (11th) and Santiago 2016 (12th) by landing a sixth-place finish at the 2022 competition in Potchefstroom, South Africa. A silver medal winning performance at June’s Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Kakamigahara, Japan will have provided a boost to the team’s confidence levels. Inspired by seven competition goals from penalty corner ace An Sujin, Korea defeated Malaysia and China on their way to the final, where they fell to a 2-1 loss against India. An Sujin could be a key player for Korea in Santiago, with Jeong Saena, team captain Lee Yujin and Park Seoyeon also capable of making telling contributions to the scoreboard.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 10

How they qualified: 5th Place – EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022

Junior World Cup history: 2016 – 4th, 2013 – 5th, 2009 – 13th, 2005 – 6th, 2001 – 10th, 1997 – 9th, 1993 – 7th.

About the team: Having made the difficult decision to withdraw from the previous, rescheduled edition, Spain return to women’s Junior World Cup action and will be out to impress in Santiago. Their last Junior World Cup appearance also took place in the Chilean capital, where they finished in fourth position. While just missing out on the bronze medal due to a painful shoot-out loss against Australia, it was their highest ever placement in the Junior World Cup. Spain finished fifth at the EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022 in Ghent, Belgium, a position that did not reflect the quality of their performances. Having thrashed Wales 6-0 and claimed a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Belgium saw them miss out on the semi-finals, before sealing fifth position with a 6-1 triumph over Scotland and ultimately seal a ticket to Santiago 2023. The team is captained by Ana Bousquet, while Teresa Lima – who scored four goals in four games to help Spain to a second-place finish at the 2023 4 Nations Junior Women’s Invitational Tournament in Düsseldorf, Germany – could well be one to watch.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 21

How they qualified: 2nd Place – Junior Africa Cup 2023

Junior World Cup history: 2022 – 12th, 2016 – 16th, 2005 – 16th, 1989 – 12th

About the team: Zimbabwe make a fifth appearance at the Women’s Junior World Cup, and their third in succession. After finishing bottom of the standings at Ottawa 1989, Santiago 2005 and Santiago 2016 competitions, the team finished 12th out of 15 at the Potchefstroom 2022 event in South Africa, and they will be keen to set an even higher mark at Santiago 2023. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe took the silver medal at the Junior Africa Cup 2023 in Ismailia, Egypt, giving South Africa a stern test in the competition final before a fourth quarter strike from Jesquinique Coltman ended their hopes, losing 1-0. Seventeen-year-old Tinodiwanashe Elijah netted four times at the competition in Ismailia, with Tanyaradzwa Changa and Kaylee Sithole scoring two apiece. The team are coached by Bradley Heuer, a goalkeeper who has represented Zimbabwe senior men’s team both outdoors and indoors.

The FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023 begins on 29 November with 12 teams in action on opening day! Pool B encounter between Korea and Zimbabwe will get the event underway at 10am local time. High octane clashes between Netherlands and Australia, India and Canada, Argentina and Spain, Germany and Belgium will follow, before hosts Chile play the final match of the opening day against South Africa. The full match schedule for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup can be found here.

Don’t miss a moment of the action from the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023, using either of the two options available on Watch.Hockey:

– the FIH+ Pass, which enables access to all FIH events! Important: the Early Bird discount of up to 25% for the FIH+ Pass has been extended to 29 November!
– the Event Pass, which includes the matches of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023 only. Passes can be purchased worldwide* directly through the Watch.Hockey app (App Store and Google Play).

 *except on the Indian subcontinent