UP win Junior Men National Hockey Championship with 3-1 victory over Chandigarh in final
Kovilpatti (Tamil Nadu), December 26, 2021
Uttar Pradesh scored a decisive 3-1 victory over Chandigarh to win the the 11th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2021 at Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.
The win meant that UP maintained their stellar 100% record in this edition of the tournament.
Tournament top scorer Sharda Nand Tiwari opened the scoring for UP Hockey in the 15th minute with a trademark penalty corner, before Arun Sahani (16', 34') stretched their lead further with a brace.
Raman pulled one goal back for Hockey Chandigarh in the 51st minute, but UP held on to the lead to be crowned champions of the tournament.
Uttar Pradesh coach Rajesh Sonkar heaped praise on his team's performance as a united group after the victory, saying, "This has been a combined team effort from the boys who have each given everything for the team. There are a lot of players in this team who have potential to break into the national team setup if they can keep up this level of performance."
"I think Uttar Pradesh Hockey has reached the latter stages of quite a few nationals tournaments, but has not been able to get over the line in quite a few years. I am elated that this group was able to not just reach the Final, but also win the Gold Medal."
In the 3rd/4th Place playoff match, Hockey Association of Odisha edged out Hockey Haryana 3 - 2 in a closely contested affair to clinch 3rd place in the competition. Odisha took the lead in the match through Deepak Minz (27'), only to be pegged back by two goals from Rohit (34') and Deepak (36'), who put Haryana in the lead in the third quarter.
Odisha answered back with a quickfire brace of their own at the start of the fourth quarter, scored by Sushant Toppo (47') and Sudeep Chirmako (49'). They held on to the 3 - 2 lead to secure third place.