Khelo India Youth Games 2022 (Men’s Under 18) Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar, Odisha has reached the Semi-Last stage, with the final four teams set to take the field in their respective Semi-Final battles on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Hockey Haryana will face the Hockey Association Of Odisha in the first Semi-Final, while Hockey Jharkhand will take on Hockey Madhya Pradesh in the second Semi-Final, as per Hockey India (HI).
Hockey Haryana reached the last four of the tournament after defeating Hockey Bihar 6-0 in the Quarter-Final on Tuesday. Amit Khasa (4′, 18′, 22′) scored a hat-trick for the winning side, while Rohit (37′, 53′) struck a brace. Sukhvinder (20′) also contributed to Hockey Haryana’s victory with a goal. Hockey Haryana’s coach Rajender Kumar Sihag asserted that the team wants to play good hockey to reach the Final. “We are aware that the Hockey Association Of Odisha are one the best hockey teams in the tournament and we will give our 100 per cent in the upcoming match. We have done well in the ongoing tournament and its proof of all the hard work being done by our players. The team is ready to play the Semi-Final and we will bring our A-game to the turf,” commented Rajender Kumar Sihag.
Hockey Association Of Odisha, on the other hand, registered a thrilling 4-2 win over Hockey Punjab in the Quarter-Final to reach the last four of the tournament. Deepak Minz (14′, 44′) led the charge for the Hockey Association Of Odisha, scoring a brace in the match. Akash Soreng (5′) and Aryan Xess (18′) netted a goal each for the winning team. On the other hand, Manmeet Singh (17′) and Jaspal Singh (23′) scored the goals for Hockey Punjab. “The Semi-Final clash against Hockey Haryana will be a tough match but we are ready for it and have faith in our team. We have watched the matches of Hockey Haryana and I am sure that we will be able to penetrate their defences in order to register a handsome victory in the match,” said Hockey Association Of Odisha’s coach Lakshmi Narayana Pitti.
Hockey Jharkhand defeated Uttar Pradesh Hockey 5-2 in the Quarter-Final to advance to the Semi-Final. Hockey Jharkhand dominated the match from the start as Amardeep Kujur (8′), Abhishek Tigga (11′) and Joseph Topno (27′) scored a goal each in the first half. Sukhnath Guria (45′) and Sumit Barwa (55′) also added a goal each, while Ajeet Yadav (13′) and Captain Mohammad Haris (22′) registered their names on the scoresheet for Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Hockey Jharkhand’s coach Sagar Bharat Thakur stated, “We have analyzed the matches of Hockey Madhya Pradesh in the tournament. They are a good team but we have quality in our team as well. My players can execute my philosophy on the turf and I have full confidence in the players that they will be able to register a victory and progress to the final.”
On the other hand, Hockey Madhya Pradesh picked up a close 3-2 win against Hockey Chandigarh in the Quarter-Final to reach the last four. Ali Ahmad (8′), Mohammad Zaid Khan (45′) and Shreyas Dhupe (56′) scored a goal each for Hockey Madhya Pradesh. For Hockey Chandigarh, it was Gurpreet Singh (19′) and Raman (31′) who made it to the scoresheet. Hockey Madhya Pradesh’s coach Devki Nandan Kushwaha said, “The team is excited for the Semi-Final clash against Hockey Jharkhand. They have a great team and their players are exceptional on the turf but we have the quality as well and I am sure the players will give their 100 per cent to reach the Final.”
Please see the Semi-Final line-up for December 29, 2022 below: 1200 hrs – Hockey Haryana V Hockey Association Of Odisha
1400 hrs – Hockey Jharkhand V Hockey Madhya Pradesh.