Odisha, UP, Haryana, Jharkhand Sail Into Semis

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Hockey Association of Odisha defeated Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu to move into the semi-finals of the 12th Hockey India sub-junior men’s National championship played at Hockey Astro Turf, at Peddem Sports Complex, Mapusa, on Thursday. 

The match started off strong in the first quarter with Odisha holding possession and attacking whereas the DNH & DD side resorted to a low paced defensive play, it was the Odisha outfits that drew first blood when Bilkan Oram netted in the 14th minute.

In the second quarter DNH & DD put in the work to cross and score a goal but the Odisha defence did a marvellous job not letting them score. In the 40th minute, however, the Odisha side doubled the lead through Irengbam Singh to win the match for his side.  

In another match, Hockey Punjab were thrashed by their North Indian counterparts in the final score line reading 6-1 in favour of Uttar Pradesh Hockey. A battle of equals saw the U.P. side struck early in the first quarter with goals by the captain Manoj Yadav and Shahrukh Ali putting the team from U.P. in the driver’s seat. Captain Manoj Yadav put in a captain’s performance in the crunch opening moments of the match, bagging two penalty corner goals in the first quarter. 

A 10th minute goal by Punjab showed signs of a tough tussle between the two Northern giants but U.P. had a huge surprise up their sleeve in the quarters to follow. Twin goals in the second quarter strengthened U.P. ‘s lead from 2 goals to 4 with a Punjab team being star studded by an excessively aggressive and motivated U.P. side. 

A comeback was still on the cards knowing the reputation the Punjab side had built over the group stages but a goalless third quarter pushed them closer to the brink of elimination. A sixth goal in the fourth quarter almost sealed a ticket to the semi-finals with Punjab being shown the way back home in an unexpected turn of events Earlier in the day, Hockey Haryana thumped Hockey Bihar 5-1. 

Haryana scored the first goal in the 11th minute through Bittu who later went on to score a brace in the 14th minute. The Haryana side scored yet again in the 25th minute through Sahil before the Bihar side pulled a goal back through Atit Kumar in the 30th minute. 

In the third quarter, Haryana went on two score twice through Rahul in the 41st minute and 62nd minute to round the tally to 5-1 and sail into the semi-final. 

In the first game of the day the defending champions Hockey Jharkhand edged past Hockey Chandigarh 7-5. With the score of 3-3 the tiebreaker between Jharkhand and Chandigarh was an aggressive game both sides with a good start from Jharkhand scoring a goal almost instantly by Bishal Lakra.

Jharkhand held possession most of the time mostly attacking and passing with Chandigarh maintaining a strong defence throughout the quarter. 

The second quarter was a match of passive gameplay with both teams attacking and defending simultaneously holding almost equal possession and Chandigarh was showing some incredible teamwork and efforts in the quarter. 

The 3rd quarter was a game changer for Chandigarh as they tore open the Jharkhand defence scoring 2 goals through Gurpreet Singh but Jharkhand did manage to counter back with a goal, rest of the quarter was played quite aggressively by both teams playing on mode attacking most of the time. 

In the 4th quarter Chandigarh scored a goal hoping to keep the score the same way but Jharkhand instantly countered back with a goal making the score a tie, both teams were on fire with the rest of the quarter aggressively attacking and counter attacking but none of them managing to score a goal.  

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