Aga Khan Cup Hockey: Rock solid defence helps Odisha clinch title
Two goals in two minutes helps Steel Authority of India Limited (Sail) Odisha, beat Army Boys; In the girls section final Bihar beat Nagpur 2-1pune Updated: Dec 10, 2018 14:39 IST
Trailing 1-0 at the halftime, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Odisha rebound after the break to notch a 2-1 victory over Army Boys, Bihar to take home Aga Khan Cup hockey tournament title at Major Dhyan Chand hockey poligras stadium, Pimpri on Sunday.
Two goals by Bikash Lakra (31st) and Jay Prakash Patel (32nd) made the difference as Sail played smart hockey till the end to become champion.
In 60 minutes, Sail got six penalty corners while Army Boys couldn’t even get a single penalty corner.
“Not getting any penalty corners was the reason that we could not score the goals. We missed many opportunities,” said Gaje, captain, Army Boys.
Bihar opened their scoring in the 9th minute with Jonson’s pass from left side of the net helping Sajan to score a goal.
In the first quarter, Bihar controlled the ball possession but couldn’t come across with much of opportunities while Sail got one penalty corner which they could not convert.
“We had to struggle earlier in the first quarter as our forward line was not doing good and that was the reason opponent got an opportunity to score,” said Lakra, centre-forward, Sail.
The second quarter turned out to be a contrast as Odisha boys controlled the ball possession and came out all attacking.
Sahil, goalkeeper of Army Boys came with an impressive show as he denied five goals scoring opportunities to SAIL. Out of five, three were penalty corners.
After resumption, Odisha outfit came with a completely different approach and attacked from the very first minute of the game.
The fifth penalty corner in the 31st minute for Sail finally turned out to be successful as Bikash Lakra hit on target in second attempt to equalise.
In the next minute, Sail scored their second goal with Kingson Singh’s pass which helped Jay Prakash Patel to find a net giving them a 2-1 lead.
“Defence line was the strong point of the day, the way we played not allowing the opponent to get any penalty corner did the trick for us,” said Jay Prakash.
From there onwards, it was all Sail’s match as they kept tight passing and did not allow the opponent to score any goal.
“After the first quarter we had decided that now we need to play with speed and not to miss the ball and focus on passing more which helped us to get back into the game,” added Lakra.
Bhopal win girls title
Bhopal girls defeated Nagpur to claim girls title. Goals from Aarti (32nd) and Soni Ladwal (49th) scripted victory for Bhopal.
“Happy to win the match and girls really played well but there were many things on which we can improve as a team. One thing which we learn here in every department whether it is forward or defence is we need to play with good coordination then only we can win the match,” said Shivangi Verma, captain, Bhopal team who plays at the centre-half position.
Men: Sail, Odisha 2 (Bikash Lakra 31st, Jay Prakash Patel 32nd) bt Army Boys, Bihar 1 (Sajan 9th)
Girls: Bhopal 2 (Aarti 32nd, Soni Ladwal 49th) bt Nagpur 0.
Sail, Odisha got 6 penalty corners while Army Boys Bihar failed to get any penalty corner. Rocksolid defence line from SAIL Odisha did the trick which earned then the trophy.
Bikash Lakra (forward, SAIL Odisha)
Today I played with more confidence. It was a good match and credit goes to our defence line that did not conceded any penalty corner which helped us to win the match.
Jay Prakash Patel (forward, SAIL Odisha)
Happy to win but we missed many opportunities and due to ground conditions out forward line were not able to perform well.
Rajukant Saini (Coach SAIL Odisha)
First half was bit difficult for us. Our forward line was making many mistakes. Boys played with more effort in second half and defence was brilliant today.
Mohd Intekhab Alam (Coach Army Boys, Bihar)
It is all about momentum. SAIL got the momentum and they hit two back to back goals in the span of two minutes that was the difference. Out team played well but we could `not get the momentum after the first quarter.
First Published: Dec 10, 2018 14:38 IST