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KIYG: Haryana girls down Jharkhand 2-1 to win U-17 gold

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Riding on striker Deepika’s brace, Haryana survived a last-quarter scare before beating Jharkhand 2-1 to win the U-17 Girls hockey competition and the Gold in the Khelo India Youth Games at NDA Complex here on Saturday.
 
Jharkhand put up a determined show and though they were beaten they won the hearts of the fans and the silver
 
In the morning, for the third place match, Odisha warded off a determined Punjab challenge to emerge 3-2 winner to claim the bronze.
 
In a well-contested final, Jharkhand muffed chances and paid the penalty. They dominated the first quarter and had a fair share of the ball in the second quarter but they failed to make use of the advantage.
 
The Haryana girls defended well and made incisive counter moves which rattled the Jharkhand defence. Four minutes into the second half, Deepika gave Haryana the lead with a superb field goal and three minutes later she made it 2-0 with another opportunistic goal.
 
Jharkhand tried hard to score but time and again their strikers let go the chance. However, just before the final whistle, Prini Kandir made no mistake of converting a chance that came her way to score (1-2). But it was a case of too little and too late.
 
The battle for third place was bitterly fought and the 60-minute match turned out to be a thriller.
 
For Odisha who led 3-1 at half time, the goal scorers were Sunita Xaxa, Jyoti Chhatri and Nimabati Singh (one each). Chewang Tamang, Simranjeet Kaur scored a goal each for Punjab. 
 
Odisha started with flourish, pounding the Punjab goal thrice in a space of nine minutes. Sunita Xaxa put her team in the lead with a superb goal in the 4th minute and two minutes later the lead went up as Jyoti Chhatri scored off a penalty corner (2-0).
 
Odisha further consolidated the lead in the 13th minute with Sonia Topno intercepting a cross and sending the ball home leaving goalkeeper Simran Chopra stranded (3-0) and Punjab looked heading for a big defeat but that was not to be.
 
Just at the end of the first quarter, Punjab was awarded a penalty corner and Chewang Tamang converted it to reduce the gap (1-3).
 
After that, Punjab went on the offensive and put tremendous pressure on Odisha who crowded their defence to protect their two goal lead. 
 
Punjab took over the mid-field and launched a flurry of attacks but found it hard to breach the populated defence. Their strikers also failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way.
 
Seven minutes before the final whistle, Simranjeet Kaur cut through a couple of defenders to send the ball home (2-3) and that was all they could do as Odisha managed to hold on to the slender lead till the end.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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