Odisha beat Punjab for boys hockey final; Haryana takes Girls gold at KISG; Punjab Girls and Chandigarh Boys take bronze medals

Haryana and Jharkhand Girls in action during the Girls Hockey Final match at the 1st Khelo India School Games.

Playing  to a plan Odisha once again asserted their supremacy  over  Punjab  beating them 2-1 to win the gold and  title  of Boys Hockey competition of the Khelo India School Games at Dhyan Chand National stadium,New Delhi on Thursday.

Earlier, in a match for bronze and third place Chandigarh Boys routed Uttar Pradesh 5-1.

In the morning, a goal in the dying moments of the match by Anu helped Haryana pip Jharkhand 2-1 in the Girls Hockey final. It was Jharkhand, who struck first and led 1-0 at half time, but Haryana girls struck back later striking twice in the second half.

Punjab  won the Girls third place match after surviving put it across Chandigarh 5-4 to claim the bronze.

Odisha Boys during the medal ceremony of Hockey at the 1st Khelo India School Games.

The Odisha boys, who had beaten Punjab 3-0 in the league, once again dominated the final proving that their previous victory over their rivals was no fluke. In fact the goal line do not do justice to the winners who should have won by  much higher margin.

Odisha boys showed no sign of fatigue  after having played a grueling semi-final  against Uttar Pradesh while Punjab who had whipped Chandigarh in the other semi final  had a tired look.

The fast moving Odisha boys started attacking the Punjab citadel from the very start giving their rivals no  time to settle down.

Surprisingly despite having  upper hand for most of the time, Odisha earned a breakthrough only a minute before the interval with  Sushil Dhanwar scoring off a penalty corner.

Punjab tried to make their presence felt  by launching  furious  attacks as the second session opened but Odisha not only foiled their efforts but riding on a counter attack  they increased the lead in the 41st minute through striker Sudeep Chirmako to make it 2-0.

Stunned by this reverse Punjab changed  tactics and started making moves from the flanks.

Odisha also re-grouped team as they strengthened their defence while in front Sdeep, Samir Ekka and Sushant Toppo made intrusive moves.

Midway through this half Odisha again regained the control of mid-field but this time the strikers turned out to be poor marksmen. Just before the final whistle Punjab  scored  a consolation  goal through Surdarshan Singh.

Odisha  coach Sanji Kerketta was elated with his team’s performance. “We played better hockey throughout. We played to a plan in the final. The boys were not overawed by the occasion,” he said.

Punjab coach Rupinder Singh said that his boys gave their best but added, “Only one team wins and Odisha won.”

For the third place Chandigrah trounced Uttar Pradesh 5-1 after leading 2-1 at half time. For the winners  Arshdeep Singh, Sahibjeet Singh (two each) and Harpanthpreet Singh (one ) scored.  Ali Akhtar scored the only goal for the losers.

Haryana girls during the medal ceremoney of Hockey at the 1st Khelo India School Games.

Girls final

In the morning, the Haryana – Jharkhand Girls final turned out to be an engrossing affair as both teams played their hearts out. Yet, it was Haryana, who had the better of exchanges, though the winning margin was not a true reflection of the domination the Haryana girls enjoyed.

In the first half  the winners muffed at least three good chances, two of them being through penalty corners and one solo effort. Jharkhand, too, earned six penalty corners but failed to convert any of them.

Haryana strikers Manju and Komal  spearheaded their teams charge but  were unable to breach their rivals’ crowded defence. The winners were rudely rattled in the 32nd minute when Jharkhand launched a tearing counter attack  and the in-form Subhani Bhengra made no mistake off a pass from Beauty Dung Dung to make it (1-0) and that was the margin at half time.

Eight minutes into the second half Haryana drew parity with skipper Sharmila scoring off a penalty corner 1-1). Motivated by this equaliser, the winners  went flat out on  the offensive.

Having taken control of the mid field, Haryana forwards attacked from all sides, yet the goal eluded them. Manju and Komal Jyoti  made solo attempts only to be foiled  by the rival defenders.

As time ticked away and possibility of penalty shootout loomed large, Haryana struck through Anu who  intercepted a rebound and slammed the ball home to make it 2-1 giving no chance to Jharkhand.

Haryana’s coach Nitin Sabharwal said that his players played well, but added, “We should have won with much higher margin. We had beaten Jharkhand earlier, were aware of their tactics and game plan and we planned our strategy accordingly which worked well.”

Jharkhand team manager Pradeep Mirdha opined, “My  girls played good but  could not convert the chances that came their way.”

In the match for bronze medal, three goals by  Simranjeet Kaur enabled Punjab quell Chandigarh‘s  second half  upsurge.

Punjab led 2-1 at half  time. Apart from Simranjeet (3), the other goal scorers were Baljeet Kaur and Mitali (I each). For Chandigarh Sonu (2), Barkha and Monu were the scorers.