Star-studded Punjab claimed theJunior National Hockey title with an overwhelming margin of 6-2 against a fighting Odisha in the final of the championship here today.
Adopting to their usual aggressive methods, Punjab's Harjeet Singh converted a penalty cover with elan to sound the board in the very first minute and then Simranjeet Singh who netted two goals in their win scored the second goal in the ninth minute. In the 14th minute Balvinder Singh made it 3-0.
The exchanges were on even keel for another 20 minutes and Odisha were looking to reduce the margin. Eventually, Odisha were rewarded when Sunil Ekka, one of their star performers, capped an almost solo effort five minutes before the break (1-3).
Maintaining the tempo, Odisha again reduced the margin (2-3) in the 44th minute through Jose Toppo.
Continuing their aggressive approach, Punjab were rewarded in the 57th minute when Parvinder Singh beat the Odisha goalkeeper and two minutes later, a wily Ajit Pandit came up with an opportunistic goal to increase the tally to 5-2. In the 67th minute, Simranjeet Singh made it 6-2.
In the third-place match, Haryana beat Sports authority of India 7-3 with the former's Mandeep More scoring three goals.