Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy beat Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre in the shootout (3-1 SO) after a tie at the end of the 4th Quarter with a 3-3 score line, to clinch the 1st Hockey India Sub Junior Men Academy National Championship 2021, here on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy beat SGPC Hockey Academy 5-1 to clinch the 3rd place in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy held their nerves to emerge as the champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament after being tested hard by their opponents in the regulation time. Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy took lead twice in the game, but Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre equalised each time to end at a 3-3 stalemate in the regulation time.
Goalkeeper Amaan Khan was the star of the match as he saved as many as three goals in the shootout to help Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy clinch the title. Saddam Ahmad (10'), Subhan Abid (32') and Captain Ali Ahmad (36') were the three goalscorers for Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy in the regulation time, while Captain Jasman Munda (21'), Ricky Tonjam (34') and Irengbam Rohit Singh (55') scored a goal each for Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre in what was a topsy-turvy summit clash of the competition.
Reacting to the team's win, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy coach Mohd Sameer Dad expressed, "Both teams were strong skill-wise as well as physically, so, this kind of close match was expected today. Everytime we kept on taking lead in the match, but they went on to score equaliser each time. In the shootout, match can go either way, but, we were confident about winning this match. Our goalkeeper was fantastic, he showed a great character and made three saves in the shootout to help the team win this title. It's not easy for U-17 players to practice six hours daily in these conditions, heat was a major factor. They have been training since last fifteen days in these conditions, and I think that benefitted to our team as we got used to the heat."
He further added, "Winning the inaugural edition of the tournament is a special feeling. I feel proud to have etched our academy's name in the history books. A lot of players were playing their first ever tournament of their lives, and winning a title at National level is a big achievement. This will motivate them to win more tournaments, and showcase their talents on the national platform. I believe it's a great move by Hockey India for introducing tournaments for Academies. It will create a competitive culture among young players, which will eventually help Indian Hockey to produce more talents."
Earlier today, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy eased past SGPC Hockey Academy with a clinical 5-1 win to finish third in the tournament. Captain Harmanjit Singh (8'), Himanshu Bansal (28'), Sukhpal Singh (36'), Gursewak Singh (47') and Lovenoor Singh (60') scored a goal each to help their team Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy seal the third spot. Whereas Harpreet Singh (46') scored the only goal for SGPC Hockey Academy.