Hosts Naval Tata Hockey Academy-Jamshedpur prevailed over SAIL Hockey Academy 4-1 in a shootout to lift the trophy in the 2nd Hockey India Junior Men’s Academy National Championship 2022 on Sunday. The thrilling final went into a shootout after both the teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time.
In a hard-fought summit clash, SAIL Hockey Academy took the lead in the 13th minute through a field strike from Nitesh, which was cancelled out by Naval Tata Hockey Academy’s Md Danish in the 27th minute.
But captain Kerobin Lakra’s penalty corner conversion in the 44th minute nearly looked to have sealed the championship crown for SAIL until the 58th minute when Deepak Soreng scored the equaliser to take the match into a shootout.
In the shootout, Naval Tata Hockey Academy-Jamshedpur converted all four chances through Pardeep, Shivam Singh, Simon Bodra and Sukhnath Guria while their goalkeeper Bhimsen Kisku stood tall to help his team clinch the title. For SAIL Hockey Academy, only Tarin Yadav scored in the shootout, as his team finished runner-up.
Reflecting on the thrilling win, Naval Tata Hockey Academy-Jamshedpur coach Manish Kumar said, “I am really glad to see that the players didn’t lose hope and didn’t give up at all till the last minute. They were patient and did really well in the last minutes to take the game into the shootout. That equaliser in the 58th minute weakened our opponent’s morale and we just took advantage of it in the shootout.”
“For Naval Tata Hockey Academy-Jamshedpur, it’s a very special day today, we have won our first Academy Nationals title. I think this win will motivate the whole academy, including players of other age groups to win more and more such prestigious tournaments. This win, this tournament will certainly help these young players in achieving their dream of playing for India,” he added.
Earlier in the bronze medal match, RoundGlass Punjab Hockey Club Academy defeated Army Boys Sports Company 2-0 via shootout after both the teams finished 2-2 at the end of regulation 60 minutes.
Dilraj Singh (8′) and Shivam Rana (59′) scored for Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy, while Nitish Kumar (27′, 52′) bagged a brace for Army Boys Sports Company in the regulation time.
In the shootout, Army Boys Sports Company missed out on converting in all their five attempts, Arshdeep Singh and Rajbeer Singh scored for Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy to help their side finish at the third spot.