Rourkela: Uttar Pradesh Hockey and Hockey Association of Odisha will face off in the final of the 13th Hockey India Sub-Junior Men’s National Championship 2023 here on Sunday after both teams won their semifinal clashes in contrasting styles.
Uttar Pradesh Hockey reached the final by defeating Hockey Haryana 7-0 while the Hockey Association of Odisha defeated Hockey Madhya Pradesh 3-1 in their semifinal.
In the first semifinal match, Uttar Pradesh Hockey got the better of Hockey Haryana thanks to goals from Ujjwal Pal (4′, 34′), Ketan Kushwaha (14′, 33′), and Rahul Rajbhar (38′, 51′). Rahul Yadav (17′) also scored to help his team keep the lead and win the game. It should be noted that Uttar Pradesh Hockey is undefeated in the tournament thus far.
“The team played according to the plan,” said Uttar Pradesh Hockey manager and coach Vikas Pal of their successful performance in this tournament so far. “We are yet to play our best game. I am hoping we will show what we are capable of in the Final. We will look to create and convert more penalty corners in the Finals and hopefully, we will repeat our last year’s feat.”
Hockey Odisha defeated Hockey Madhya Pradesh 3-1 in the second semifinal. Deepak Pradhan (19′, 57′) scored twice for the Odisha Hockey Association. Pradip Mandal (9′) also scored a goal for his team. Aashir Adil Khan (45′) scored the lone goal for Hockey Madhya Pradesh in response.
Also on Sunday, Hockey Haryana take on Hockey Madhya Pradesh for the 3rd/4th place match.