Chandigarh, Haryana bag gold in U-17 hockey competitions

Chandigarh and Haryana bagged the gold medals in the U-17 boys and U-17 girls hockey competitions of the Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Guwahati on Monday.

Chandigarh defeated Uttar Pradesh 2-0 in a penalty shootout after the scores were locked at 2-2 after regulation time.

Haryana were involved in a nervy encounter where they conceded an equaliser with just one second remaining on the clock, but still ended up winning the following penalty shootout 2-1 after the scores were tied at 2-2 at full-time.

The hockey U-17 boys final saw Chandigarh twice come from behind to beat Uttar Pradesh. The two goals for Uttar Pradesh were scored by Arun Sahani in the 6th and 43rd minutes, but Chandigarh’s Deepak Kumar (17′) and Sumit (50′) scored to make it 2-2, and take the tie into the penalty shootout where their goalkeeper Bikramjit Singh was the star, as he made four consecutive saves to win the gold for his team.

Chandigarh, who had finished second in Pool A with two wins and a loss, had defeated Punjab 3-1 in the semi-finals before winning the final match on Monday.

Their coach Gurminder Singh appreciated his team’s performances.

“I am really happy with the way our team played. We executed our plans brilliantly today because we had lost 2-8 to them in our Pool A match,” Gurminder said.

“However, during the final it was more about countering their tactics, and making sure we were always focused on the task ahead.”

While the hockey U-17 girls final between Haryana and Jharkhand took a turn in the very last moment of the match, as Jharkhand scored with just a second remaining on the clock, to make the scores 2-2 at the end of normal time.

Earlier, Haryana had scored first in the match through Pinki (13′), but Jharkhand equalised in the 35th minute through Deepika Soreng.

However, Haryana scored in the next minute to restore their lead through a Penalty Corner, as Dimple converted.

Jharkhand’s Deepika Soreng found herself at the right spot again in the last minute of normal time, as she thumped the ball into the back of the net to equalise for the second time.

In the shootout, Jharkhand converted their first shot, but failed to find the target in the next five, giving Haryana a much deserved 2-1 win.