Odisha emerged champions in the football Sub-Junior National Championship on Saturday as they defeated the hosts Arunachal Pradesh 5-4 on penalties after the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
After overcoming heavyweights Mizoram in the semi-finals, the hosts gave a tough fight to Odisha in the final but fell one short in the penalty shootout. With the win, Odisha have completed the tournament without losing a single match.
Odisha, which was placed in Group A alongside Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, and runners-up Arunachal Pradesh, came out with flying colours in the group stage. They beat Tamil Nadu 3-0, Maharashtra 4-2, the hosts Arunachal Pradesh 1-0, and got a 1-1 draw against Punjab.
The sequence of results pitted them against the second-placed Jharkhand from Group B in the semi-final.
In a derby between the two neighbouring states from the eastern regions of the country, Odisha maintained the upper hand over Jharkhand, registering a convincing 6-2 margin.
Meanwhile, the hosts had also shown a great promise in the tournament as they beat Maharashtra 1-0, Punjab 1-0, and Tamil Nadu 9-1, before losing to eventual winners Odisha in the last Pool match.
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