Hockey Uttar Pradesh clinched the 12th Junior Hockey India Sub-Junior Men National Championship at the Hockey AstroTurf, Peddem Sports Complex, Mapusa, Goa on Sunday.
The winners scored a staggering three-goal win over defending champions Jharkhand. Amidst the hype and cheering the match kicked off with both teams battling it out for ball possession with Jharkhand getting the better of their counterparts.
A few midfield errors from Jharkhand led to them giving away easy ball possession from which U.P. took over and it led to the first goal of the final courtesy Sharukh Ali in the 10th minute of the match.
Jharkhand looked to make a quickfire comeback but were met with feisty tackles from the U.P. lads and a counter-attack soon led to another goal for the big match player Shahrukh Ali who bagged his second goal of the game and the pressure was now on Jharkhand to put forth a comeback with 3 quarters remaining.
A second-quarter filled with aggressive play from both sides vowed the spectators but there were no goals from either side. The third quarter saw a hungry Jharkhand try their best to make a comeback but the rock-solid U.P. defence put not just their sticks but also their bodies on the line with two green cards and a yellow card being issued to the U.P. cavalry.
The Jharkhand boys kept on creating chances with the time ticking and the championship slipping out of their hands with each passing second. The delegates for the day and the crowd cheered as the third quarter also concluded with no goals from either side and a ray of hope still being visible for a possible comeback from the defending champions.
As the fourth quarter begun the Jharkhand lads looked pumped up to make a comeback but their enthusiasm was cut short by another goal by Sharukh Ali who notched up a hat-trick and sealed the deal for the central Indian side.
The final horn went off and the celebrations begun in the U.P. camp with slogans and war cries echoing through the gloomy Mapusa sky.
In the third-place match earlier in the day, the Hockey Association of Odisha defeated Hockey Haryana 5-2. In the first quarter, the game was pretty slow but Odisha did manage to score a goal breaking the Haryana defence, Haryana was putting in efforts with whatever opportunities they got with the attack.
The game took pace in the 2nd quarter with Odisha completely gaining control over the turf and scoring 3 goals and Haryana did counter back with a goal but most of the possession was with Odisha.
The pace dropped down in the 3rd quarter however Odisha couldn’t be stopped by Haryana’s defence and scored a goal, The players of Odisha were showing some great skills and gameplay and again the possession belonged mostly towards Odisha. In the 4th quarter Haryana went full attack mode and did score a goal, Odisha kept their attack cool and just kept defending. Overall it was a great game of attack and defence with Odisha getting 3rd place and Haryana with 4th place
Goans Hockey President Xavier Marquis welcomed Shri Govind Gaude, Minister of Sports, Art & Culture and RDA to the closing ceremony celebrations. Speaking on the occasion the chief guest for the closing ceremony, Minister of Sports, Art & Culture and RDA, Govind Gaude thanked the Goans Hockey Association for organizing the tournament, “Sports is an integral part of our lives, where we can earn work as a team and earn laurels for the State and the Nation,” Gaude said, “It is a proud moment for Goa as we have hosted this one-of-a-kind tournament after many years. The sports department of Goa will work closely with the associations so that we can further compete at the National and International levels,” he added.
Secretary-General Goa Olympics Association Gurudutta Bhakta, Goans Hockey president Xavier Marquis, Senior vice president Farell Furtado, Secretary Benny Viegas, and Treasurer Valanka D’Souza were also present.
The Final Position of the winners of the 12th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2022, Goa are:
· First Place – Uttar Pradesh Hockey
· Second Place – Hockey Jharkhand
· Third Place – Hockey Association of Odisha