New Delhi: The 11th Junior Hockey World Cup kick-started on Thursday with New Zealand beating Japan 1-0 in a pool C match at Lucknow' Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
Kiwi striker Sam Lane scored the only goal of the match in the 44th minute through field strike.
In other important match of the day, six-times champions Germany began their title defense on a shaky note. They escaped with a a narrow 2-1 win over European rivals Spain in the same pool.
Germans opened the scoring in the 25 minute with a Anton Boeckel strike. Spain came back strongly after the break and struck the equalizer, when Bordas Fabregas hit the plank in 48th minute.
In the 63rd minute, Timm Herzbruch converted a penalty corner which gave Germans upper hand in the match. Spain tried hard to score the their second goal, but all their attempts have been stopped by Germany defenders.