Odisha boys bag their fourth title

SPORTS REPORTER
Friday, 1 March 2019

In the final, Odisha and first-time finalists Uttar Pradesh shared a 1-1 scoreline at full time before, Odisha forced a  4-3 ‘shoot-out’ result. Odisha thus improved upon their fourth place finish in 2018.

PUNE: Odisha claimed their fourth title after fighting off a stiff comeback from Uttar Pradesh via the ‘shoot-out’ to emerge champions of the 9th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2019 (Div ‘A’) at the Sports Authority of India, Western Training Centre, in Aurangabad on Thursday.

In the final, Odisha and first-time finalists Uttar Pradesh shared a 1-1 scoreline at full time before, Odisha forced a  4-3 ‘shoot-out’ result. Odisha thus improved upon their fourth place finish in 2018.

Featuring in their eighth National junior final, Odisha was the first to take the lead when Sushant Toppo (30th) tapped in a rebound off goalkeeper and skipper Prashant Chauhan.

The goal was created after Laban Lagun did well to have a reverse hit on target which was fended off by the Uttar Pradesh goalkeeper. However, an alert Sushant did well to utilise the opportunity to the fullest.

At half-time Odisha led 1-0. After the breather, Uttar Pradesh came back with a purpose and relentlessly attacked the Odisha goal. 

Odisha’s defence finally cracked a minute before the end of the third quarter.

Ananad Shivam, the hero of Uttar Pradesh in the semi-final, finding himself clear on the top of the striking circle beat Odisha goalkeeper Sahil Kumar Nayak with an angular drive (1-1).

In the ‘shoot-out’, Odisha scored through Prakash Dhir, Sushil Dhanwar, Laban Lugun and skipper Krishna Tirkey, while Uttar Pradesh had Vishu Singh, Abhishek Kumar Singh, Gopikumar Sonkar find success. Uttam Singh and Ananad Shivam failed with their efforts.

Earlier the third place was claimed by Haryana who beat Madhya Pradesh 2-1 after trailing by a goal at half time. 

Bobby Singh Dhami (29th) and Parmeet (39th) scored for Haryana after Haider Ali (5th) gave MPHA the early lead.

RESULTS:
Final:
Odisha: 1, 4 (Sushant Toppo 30th; Prakash Dhir, Sushil Dhanwar, Laban Lugun, Krishna Tirkey) bt Uttar Pradesh: 1, 3 (Vishnu Singh, Abhishek Kumar Singh). HT: 1-0  
3rd Place: Haryana: 2 (Bobby Singh Dhami 29th; Parmeet 39th) bt Madhya Pradesh: 1 (Haider Ali 5th). HT: 0-1.

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