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Hosts Uttar Pradesh to compete for both titles at 4th Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship


ANI Hockey
Hosts Uttar Pradesh produced stunning display in both men's and women's categories of the 4th Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship as they won their respective semi-final matches played at the Hockey Complex, Green Park stadium here on Friday.
In the men's category, the hosts beat Punjab 6-2 to secure a berth in the final, while in the women's category, they defeated defending champions Jharkhand 6-3. The other semi-final matches saw men's category defending champions Karnataka defeating Odisha 4-1 with the ambition of retaining their title, while in the women's category, Haryana defeated Odisha 4-3 in a closely fought contest.
The first semi-final in the women's category saw hosts Uttar Pradesh bouncing back from a goal down to produce a stunning 6-3 win against Jharkhand. After Jharkhand took the lead in the first minute through Birajini Ekka, the hosts managed to equalize just before the breakthrough Shreya Singh in the 9th minute.
The second period was dominated by Uttar Pradesh as they scored five more goals inspired by the local support, while Jharkhand could only manage two goals which came through Alka Dungdung (14', 20'). Goals for Uttar Pradesh were scored by Pooja Rani (11', 20'), Anuja Singh (14'), Shreya Singh (16'), and Simran Singh (20').
The second semi-final saw the girls from Haryana coming from a goal down to defeat Odisha 4-3 in an entertaining encounter. It was Odisha who took the lead in the second minute through Ajmina Kujur, but a brilliant strike from Haryana's Usha changed the equation instantly.
A fast first period of the match saw both teams playing aggressive hockey, leading to as many as five goals being scored. The next goal came in the 5th minute, which was scored by Haryana's Deepika, but it was Odisha's turn to equalise as they scored in the next minute through Ajmina Kujur, who scored her second of the match. The 8th minute saw Haryana's Deepika scoring again to make it 3-2 at the break.
The second period was a nervy one as both teams focused on defending well, but Odisha equalised yet again through Dipti Lakra in the 12th minute. It looked like the match would go into the penalty challenges, but Haryana's Monika Sihag found herself at the right spot to score in the 19th minute, and secure a place in the final.
In the men's category, Uttar Pradesh outclassed Punjab to beat them 6-2. The hosts took a three-goal lead in the first period as captain Mohd. Amir Khan (3'), Mohd. Saif Khan (6') and Saurabh Anand (10') scored the goals in front of their home support.
The second period also saw Uttar Pradesh maintaining pressure on their opponents as they scored a fourth in the 11th minute through Raj Kumar Pal. However, the next minute saw Punjab open their score as Karanbir Singh scored a field goal. Punjab tried to create more opportunities in the second period, but a double-strike from the hosts in the 15th and 16th minutes through Raj Kumar Pal and Mohd Saif Khan respectively, made it difficult for them to make a comeback. Punjab did manage to score their second in the 17th minute through Sharanjeet Singh, but it turned out to be too little, too late, as the hosts qualified for the final.
The second semi-final saw defending champions Karnataka put in a convincing shift as they beat Odisha 4-1. Three goals inside the first five minutes put Odisha on the back-foot, as Abharan Sudev (2'), Mohammed Raheel Mouseen (5') and captain Pradhan Somanna (5') scored for Karnataka.
Odisha did manage to pull a goal back before the half-time break as Cyril Lugun scored for them in the 10th minute. However, professional performance from Karnataka in the second period saw them score their fourth goal in the 11th minute through Abharan Sudev, and register a convincing 4-1 win, and with it, a place in the final match.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 2:25 PM IST

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