New Delhi: With the culmination of the quarter-final stage of the 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2023 on Thursday that witnessed some high-octane clashes, the tournament has its two Semi-Final fixtures on the calendar.
Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Haryana, Hockey Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh Hockey won their respective Quarterfinal games to advance to the last four stage of the tournament which is being held at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, Odisha.
While Hockey Association of Odisha came from behind to beat Hockey Madhya Pradesh 2-1 in the last Quarterfinal match, Hockey Haryana defeated Hockey Karnataka by a comprehensive 14-0 scoreline in the knockout game. Moreover, Hockey Jharkhand registered an 11-0 win against Hockey Chandigarh as Uttar Pradesh Hockey beat Hockey Punjab 6-0 to make it to the last four.
The results mean that Hockey Jharkhand will take on Uttar Pradesh Hockey while defending champions Hockey Haryana will lock horns with Hockey Association of Odisha in the Semi-Finals.
Meanwhile, speaking on their experience so far in the tournament, Hockey Association of Odisha Manager cum Coach Md. Ismail said, “It has been a wonderful tournament for us so far. We have been successful in implementing our plans on the field which is the major reason behind our wins. Even in the Quarterfinal match against Hockey Madhya Pradesh, despite conceding first, we stuck to our strategy and soak the pressure well which helped us bounce back and win the game.”
Further talking about the team’s preparation for Semi-Finals where they’ll clash with Hockey Haryana, Ismail said, “Hockey Haryana, no doubt, is a very good team but we are ready to give them a tough competition. Moreover, the crucial win against Hockey Madhya Pradesh has boosted our confidence level and made us believe that we are capable of overcoming any challenge.”
Also, Uttar Pradesh Hockey Coach Jitendra Singh Bhadauria said that they are confident of defeating Hockey Jharkhand in the Semis.
“We have played some good hockey in the tournament and implemented our strategies well. Moreover, we have defeated a couple of good teams during our run in the competition so far. So, we are confident of continuing our momentum and beating Hockey Jharkhand in our next game,” Bhadauria said.
Notably, Shashi Khasa (19 goals) has been the top-scorer for Haryana Hockey so far in the tournament, while Sweety Dungdung (14 goals) is leading the tally for Hockey Jharkhand. For Hockey Association of Odisha, Doli Bhoi is the player with the highest number of goals (8), while for Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Vandana Patel has netted the most goals (5) till now in the competition.
Interestingly, all four Semi-Finalists accumulated the maximum points possible from their respective group matches and they are yet to lose a game in the competition, hence, the upcoming fixtures promise an enthralling ride at the very least as the remaining four sides out of 28 participating teams will vie for top honours with the summit clash of the tournament scheduled to be played on May 14, 2023.
Here’s the Semi-final line-up of the 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2023:
Hockey Jharkhand vs Uttar Pradesh Hockey – Set to be played on Saturday at 5 PM IST.
Hockey Haryana vs Hockey Association of Odisha – Set to be played on Saturday at 7 PM IST.
Both matches will be played at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, Odisha.