– SSCB defeated Jharkhand 5-1 to proceed to the finals
– Odisha beat Haryana in sudden death to enter the finals
Kerala, 10 February 2015: As hockey at 35th National Games goes into its final phase, the turf at New Hockey Stadium, Kollam today saw two exhilarating semi final games of men’s hockey being played where Jharkhand took on SSCB in the first match whilst Odisha clashed with Haryana in the next, with a single intention to defeat their opponent and reach into the all-important finals before walking away with the title. While SSCB defeated Jharkhand by 5-1, Odisha and Haryana fought it out in the shoot out where Odisha scored in the sudden death to emerge victorious and book a berth in the finals.
In the first game, both Jharkhand and SSCB started with an attacking play while restricting the opponents at the same time from reaching for the goalpost. With excellent field plan and tactics, the two teams managed to stop each other from scoring as a result of which the entire first half of the game saw a dry run. After a goal-less first half, the second half saw both the sides trying to create scoring chances as Inay Bhengra of SSCB scored the first goal in the 37th minute. It was soon followed by another goal, this time from the stick of Davinder Singh in the 42nd minute and a close third from Siraj in the 49th minute. This gave SSCB a lead of 3-0 over Jharkhand, boosting up their morale. Arvind Kujur of Jharkhand scored the lone goal for his side in the 54th minute. Players from SSCB continued to control the game as Johny Jasrojia converted a penalty corner into a goal in 60th minute and Verender Kumar sneaked in a field goal in the 68th minute. This gave SSCB an insurmountable lead of 5-1 as they comfortable recorded a win and proceeded to the finals.
Odisha and Haryana had a neck and neck fight in the second semi final, with an equal score of 3-3 at the end of regulation time and taking it further to the penalty shootouts. In a game that provided an evidence of two teams being at par with each other, Sailendra Singh of Odisha scored the first goal for his side in the 34th minute as Gagandeep Singh for Haryana scored a leveller in the next minute, before the closure of the first half. Arjun Antil and Naveen Antil scored a goal each in the 45th and 51st minute to give Haryana a lead but their joy was short lived as Osaf Ur Rehman and Arbin Barla soon equalled the score in the 61st and 69th minute, just before the final whistle. This drove the match into the penalty shootout where Kunjan Topno, Mohammed Naeem, Azam Baig and Osaf Ur Rehman scored a goal each for Odisha while Shivdeep, Munish Rana, Naveen Antil and Joga Singh posted a goal apiece for Haryana. Finally, Kunjan Topno scored for Odisha in the sudden death, handing his team a hard fought win as Odisha entered into the finals.
Jharkhand will play Haryana in the 3rd/4th place playoffs slated to be played on 11 February 2015 at 0930 HRS IST while SSCB will meet Odisha in the finals at 1530 HRS IST at New Hockey Stadium, Kollam (Kerala).
|HARD LINE (3rd & 4th Place)|