Goa’s Impressive Run Comes to an End

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A highly anticipated clash between Hockey Goa and Hockey Punjab saw the North Indian side crash Goa’s hopes of the quarter final appearance with the final score line reading 12-0, in the 12th Hockey India sub-junior men’s National championship played at Hockey Astro Turf, at Peddem Sports Complex, Mapusa, on Tuesday.

A dominant first half display with 3 goals being scored by Punjab pushed back the positive mindset of the home side as they soon started playing defensive and the errors just piled up to a point the ball couldn’t quite find the stick of a the Goa player. 

A rather forgettable first quarter for the coastal side was followed by a second half where Goa did show some fight and spirit only for it to end a goalless quarter for either side with the score line still reading 3 goals to Punjab and none to Goa. 

The third quarter begun with Goa losing possession very loosely which soon led to their downfall as the Punjab side scored 3 consecutive goals in three consecutive minutes followed by 2 more late 3rd quarter goals only to add the nail to the coffin to a possible Goa comeback which would only be possible courtesy a miracle by the almighty. 

A helpless looking Goa side ate another four goals with Punjab thrashing the hosts in a very one sided contest. The Goan defence went all guns blazing to block in star player Manpreet Singh of Punjab but let the wing loose which Punjab capitalised upon to take a massive 12 goal win by the end of the four quarters. The hosts did have the advantage of being the home side but the boys from Punjab are a force to be reckoned with as a unit and Goa today faced their wrath.

Earlier, Day 7 kicked off with Hockey Bengal scoring a decisive 4-1 victory over Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu.The first quarter featured competitive performances via the players from both camps but the account was yet to be opened by either side. Whereas the second quarter showcased by both teams saw no goals being conceded by both sides but just as the clocked ticked to what would be another goaless quarter Bengal youngster Karan Shaw drew first blood in the game and put the coastal team in the lead. Goals by Ayush Prasad and Aman Thakur in the third quarter put Bengal in a comfortable position only for Tamil Nadu to reply back with a goal of their own in the dying minutes of the third quarter as it left some hope for a possible comeback. 

A defensively sound Bengal side kept their loose ends tight and didn’t allow the Tamil Nadu boys to find the back of their net. A slow yet entertaining fourth quarter saw Bengal add another goal to take up their tally to 4- 1 for the match.

In another match, Hockey Chandigarh defeated Assam Hockey 11-2. The match was an absolute signature of sheer dedication and hard working sportsmanship. Leading the match with 7 goals in the first 2 quarters Chandigarh made it hard for the Assam side to come back into the game but the resilient Assam side scored 2 consolation goals in the 4th quarter while having a green card in the 3rd quarter. 

On the other hand Chandigarh got 2 green cards but that didn’t let them pull back to maintaining the lead instead their skipper Gurjeet Singh and Gurpreet Singh scored the maximum amount of goals which got the scoreboard to a final score of 11-2. 

Later in the day, Delhi Hockey thrashed Le Puducherry Hockey 13-0. The battle between the Union territories lead by Manmohan Kumar Singh (C) and Anbupathi (C) respectively, the Delhites effortlessly swished the ball into the back of the net, 13 times. Rahul scored 4 goals and even though Afridi got a green card in the third quarter he relentlessly scored a total of 3 goals. After all the failed attempts to the Puducherry defence Delhi scored a total of 13 goals aiming to make their way into the playoffs.

Madhya Pradesh thumped Maharashtra 8-0. Raja Bhaiya Kori (C) scored 3 goals leading the players Karan Gautam and others to  smash balls into Maharashtra’s nets. Ritendra Pratap Singh and Siddharth Ben of Madhya Pradesh scored a goal in the first quarter whereas Azad Sultaniin netted in the third. 

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