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Jr national hockey: Chandigarh, U.P, Odisha, Haryana in semis (ld)

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Kovilpatti (Tamil Nadu), Dec 23 (IANS) Hockey Chandigarh stunned neighbours Hockey Punjab 3-2 to set up a semi-final clash with Hockey Association of Odisha in the 11th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2021 here on Thursday. Hockey Odisha defeated Hockey Bihar 4-1 to reach the semis.

In the other semi-final, Hockey Haryana, who thrashed hosts Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu 7-3, will take on Uttar Pradesh Hockey, who outplayed Delhi Hockey 9-0 as the quarter-finals were completed in the premier domestic tournament for junior boys on Thursday.

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In the first quarter-final, Hockey Chandigarh edged out Hockey Punjab 3-2 in a closely-contested encounter. After Sumit (8′) gave Hockey Chandigarh an early lead, Simranjot Singh (22′) levelled the score for Hockey Punjab in the second quarter. As both teams went back and forth in the third quarter, Rohit (44′) put Hockey Chandigarh in front again, only to be pegged back by Rajinder Singh’s equaliser in the 45th minute. Rohit (51′) then doubled his tally to give Hockey Chandigarh a decisive 3-2 lead, which they saw out to book their place in the semi-finals.

In the second quarter-final, Hockey Haryana earned a clinical 7-3 victory over the home side, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu. Hockey Haryana’s surge towards a semi-final berth was led by a hat-trick by Deepak (4′, 27′, 46′), a brace from Amandeep (4′, 32′) and one-goal each from Pankaj (19′) and Rohit (59′). For the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, Aravind Kumar S (5′), Sathish B (49′), and Aravind (55′) got on the score sheet.

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Uttar Pradesh Hockey notched a decisive 9-0 victory against previously unbeaten Delhi Hockey to book their place in the last-four stage. Sharda Nand Tiwari (3′, 12′, 22′, 27′, 51′) led the charge with five goals to his name, followed by Manish Sahani (16′, 29′), captain Vishnukant Singh (43′), and Mohammad Haris (54′).

Later, the Hockey Association of Odisha ran out 4-1 winners over Hockey Bihar thanks to a late burst of goals. After an intense first half where the score remained goalless, Amandeep Lakra (38′) gave Hockey Association of Odisha the lead, before Suhant Toppo (44′) doubled their advantage. Monu Kumar (50′) pulled one goal back for Hockey Bihar, but Sudeep Chirmako (51′, 60′) dashed their hopes thanks to two late goals.

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–IANS

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