Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Defending champions Hockey Gangpur- Odisha lost 1-3 to a resilient Sports Authority of India (SAI) on the opening day of the 7th Hockey India Sub Junior National Championship Men ‘A’ division, here in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Though Hockey Gangpur- Odisha began on a dominating note with a 25th minute goal by Deepak Ekka, two back-to-back goals by Ankush of Sports Authority of India in the 28th and 34th minute put pressure on the winners from the previous edition.
After ending the first half in 1-2 deficit, Hockey Gangpur- Odisha couldn’t convert chances in the second half and it didn’t help their cause when Vishnukant Singh struck third goal for Sports Authority of India in the 54th minute to win their opening tie.
In the second match of the day, Hockey Odisha scored a convincing 4-0 win against Hockey Andhra Pradesh. It was Sushil Dhanwar who starred for Hockey Odisha with hat-trick of goals in the 35th, 42nd and 68th minute to clinch the match for his team. While his first goal came off a penalty corner, the other two were field goals.
An 18th minute goal by Matiyas Dang helped the team secure early 1-0 lead which was further capitalized through Sushil Dhanwar’s heroics.
In a high-scoring game, Hockey Haryana beat Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu 8-0. Double goals by skipper Sunny Malik (7′, 39′), Amit (20′, 32′), Rohit (40′, 49′) apart from goals by Sachin Malik (6′) and Pankaj (51′) helped Hockey Haryana secure an easy win in their first match in pool stage.
Hockey Punjab began their campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win against Hockey Patiala. Hockey Punjab struck an early goal in the 8th minute through Sudarshan Singh and came up with good defence to go into the first-half with 1-0 lead. They later scored three goals in the second half in the 44th, 47th and 66th minute through Jaspreet Singh, Rahul and Rajinder Singh respectively.
On Thursday, Hockey Punjab will take on Hockey Gangpur-Odisha in the first quarterfinal of the 7th Junior National Hockey Championship 2017 Women ‘A’ division.
Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy will play Sports Authority of India while Hockey Haryana will take on Uttar Pradesh Hockey in the third quarterfinal. In the fourth quarterfinal Hockey Jharkhand will take on Hockey Odisha.
The two teams had met last year too in the bronze medal match and Hockey Jharkhand had beaten Hockey Odisha. (ANI)