Defending champion Haryana, last year’s third-place finisher Punjab, SAI (Bhopal) and Karnataka recorded wins in their respective league matches to complete the quarterfinal line-up in the National junior hockey championship at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, here on Thursday.
Haryana toiled hard to defeat Bengal 4-1 in a Pool ‘A’ encounter. In Pool ‘E’, SAI (Bhopal)’s massive 16-2 win over Uttarakhand denied Maharashtra the chance of making it to the last eight.
Maharashtra, which needed to defeat Tamil Nadu by a huge margin of 15 goals to reach the knockout stage, managed a 5-3 victory. Maharashtra’s task became all the more difficult as the ball rolled slower on the carpet after a bout of rain in the afternoon.
The match had some interesting moments in the first half when Vinit Kamble’s early goal and Kartik Sharma’s brace took Maharashtra to a 3-0 lead and Tamil Nadu gave a strong reply with two quick goals from M. Dhileepan and E. Charles.
The quarterfinals will be played on Friday.
The results: Pool ‘A’: Haryana 4 (Gagandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Nikhil, og) bt Bengal 1 (Rohit Thakur). Pool ‘C’: Punjab 15 (Mandeep Singh 4, Satvir Singh 2, Talwinder Singh 2, Barkat Singh, og, Harjeet Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Harsahib Singh, Varun Kumar) bt Gujarat 0. Pool ‘E’: SAI (Bhopal) 16 (Manish Vishnoy 4, Affan Yousuf 4, Neeraj 3, Navpreet Singh 3, Sahir Mohd., Pankaj Mishra) bt Uttarakhand 2 (Manoj Tamta, Narendra Bisht); Maharashtra 5 (Vinit Kamble, Kartik Sharma 2, Ashutosh, Manpreet Singh) bt Tamil Nadu 3 (M. Dhileepan, E. Charles, M. Manmaran). Pool ‘G’: Karnataka 7 (She She Gowda 2, Aiyappa Paradanda 2, Farhan Sheikh, Ganapati Mookalamda, M.S.M. Bopanna) bt Jammu and Kashmir 1 (Abhinandan Singh); Chandigarh 8 (Sukhjeet Singh 2, Narinder Pal Singh 2, Kanwaldeep Singh, Guridnerbir Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Baljot Singh) bt Kerala 0.
Quarterfinals line-up: Odisha vs. Karnataka; Punjab vs. Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy; Haryana vs. Himachal Pradesh; Uttar Pradesh vs. SAI (Bhopal).
Keywords: National junior hockey championship