Uttar Pradesh lose to Odisha, crash out of National Hockey Championship
Hosts Uttar Pradesh crashed out of the National Hockey Championship with a 2-4 loss to Odisha on Tuesday.other sports Updated: Mar 20, 2018 20:44 IST
It was the end of the road for hosts Uttar Pradesh in the Senior Men’s National Hockey Championship (A division) as they lost to Hockey Odisha 2-4 in their last league match at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
Even a draw would have helped Uttar Pradesh enter the quarter-finals from Pool A as both teams were locked at six points. However, the side led by former India star Danish Mujtaba looked off-colour and conceded two goals in the first two quarters.
Making use of lapses in rivals’ defence, Prasan Tirkey (15th) and Nitin Mukesh Tigga (25th) struck field goals to put Odisha in early lead (2-0). Though UP tried to bounce back, striking a field goal in the 41st minute through Ajay Yadav from the right flank (1-2), Odisha scored their third goal against the hosts within five minutes. This time, Prasad Kujur converted a penalty corner (3-1).
Exhibiting some fine stick-work, Uttar Pradesh again tried to make their presence felt in the do-or-die game, striking yet another field goal through Gopi Sonkar in the 51st minute (2-3). But Prasan Tirkey’s scintillating hit from top of the circle in the 55th minute dashed all their hopes of a comeback (4-2).
Defending champions Railways, with 12 points, have already entered the quarter-finals from Pool A. From Pool B, Air India (10 pts) and last year’s runners-up Punjab and Sindh Bank (8 pts) made their way to the last eight stage. Air India outclassed Haryana 3-1 on Tuesday.
Star-studded Petroleum Sports Promotion Board played out a 2-2 draw with Hockey Punjab to make the quarter-finals from Group C with 10 points. Punjab too booked their berth with eight points.
Comptroller and Auditor General of India, with eight points, and Hockey Chandigarh with seven points were the others to progress. The quarter-finals would take place on Thursday at the Padma Shri Mohd Shahid Stadium here.
Railways vs Punjab and Sindh Bank (8.00 a.m); CAG vs Hockey Punjab (10.00 a.m); Air India vs Hockey Odisha (2.00 p.m); PSPB vs Hockey Chandigarh (4.00 p.m).