Karnataka, Punjab and Jharkhand won their last league matches convincingly to complete the quarterfinal line-up in the National women's hockey championship here on Tuesday.
Karnataka outsmarted Jammu and Kashmir 17-0 in Pool B, Punjab routed Tripura 20-0 in Pool D and Jharkhand thrashed Kerala 12-0 in Pool E. In the quarterfinals, scheduled on Thursday after a day's break, Karnataka will lock horns with Punjab, while Jharkhand will take on Orissa.
At the Motilal Nehru School of Sports hockey complex here, Karnataka was successful in its mission of repeatedly attacking the Jammu and Kashmir goal and taking the contest out of the reach of its rival. Led by centre-forward Kulsumbi, the strikers created some fine moves and garnered as many as 17 short corners. Sadly, it could convert only six of those.
Penalty corner expert Ponnamma was effective with her direct hits and sounded the board thrice. She also struck a couple of field goals and converted one from the spot in the final moments of the match to emerge as the top-scorer for her team with six goals. Karnataka, leading 9-0 at half-time, took it easy after the change of ends.
Saira Banu (3), Laxmi (2), Rakshita (2), Kulsumbi (2), Harinakshi and Muthamma completed the tally. However, unlike on Thursday, the Karnataka forwards will have to be more decisive inside the opposition circle in the knockout stage. Besides, the team management has to charge up the defenders who are still untested because of the easier league outings.
Ramandeep scored two hat-tricks in her nine goals as Punjab cruised against Tripura at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Sonepat. Vartika, Kirandeep and Baljinder hit the target three times each. Harmanjeet and Manbir registered their names in the scoresheet too.
Jharkhand also returned an expected result against Kerala. In the second big win for the team, even its reserve goalkeeper, Renuka (who took the field as a normal player), converted two penalty corners. Sarita (3), Sabnam (2), Shilwanti (2), Anima, Nikki and Punita were the other contributors in the victory.
In an inconsequential Pool A match, Andhra Pradesh beat Uttarakhand 3-0. Poornima, Vijayalakshmi and Bhavani scripted Andhra's victory.
Delhi defeated Tamil Nadu 4-1 in another encounter having little importance. Minni (2), Sweta Sharma and Meenu Hooda found the mark for the winning team. Jenefier Megala was the lone scorer for the losing side in the Pool G engagement.
Maharashtra defeated Rajasthan 4-1 in Pool D. Pratibha, Harshala, Sarika and Sonali were the scorers for Maharashtra. Navreet netted the consolation goal for Rajasthan.
Keywords: National women's hockey championship