Pune, 18 November 2017: Hosts Hockey Maharashtra held their nerves till the final hooter to beat Hockey Karnataka 4-3 and win the first ever Hockey India 5-a-side National Championship (Combined Men & Women) 2017 being held at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Stadium, Balewadi, Pune on Saturday. The final was a big draw with the hosts showcasing exemplary skills to enthrall the local audience who had turned up in big numbers to cheer their team.
It was the home team’s Aishwarya Chavan who set the momentum with her 3rd minute goal that gave them a head start. The 1-0 lead was doubled in the next minute with local hero Devindar Walmiki’s splendid goal. In the second quarter, Pradhan Somanna displayed good tackling skills to score for Hockey Karnataka in the 13th minute and narrow the deficit to 1-2. But Vikas Pillay’s 14th minute goal put Hockey Maharashtra in a comfortable 3-1 lead. But the nature of the 30-minute 5-a-side game is such that one can’t afford to drop their pace at any point in their game. Hockey Maharastra did just that. Minor errors cost them two back-to-back goals by Pradhan Somanna in the 20th and 23rd minute that gave Hockey Karnataka 3-3 equalizer. It was Vikram Yadav’s 30th minute goal that eventually saw the hosts through.
Earlier in the evening, Hockey Karnataka beat Hockey Haryana 3-2 in a crunch game to make the final of the combined event. Though Hockey Haryana’s Harpal Singh scored in the 5th minute to put Hockey Karnataka on the back foot, it was not until the 14th minute when PA Pavithra converted an equalizer. The match was evenly played out with both teams showcasing top-quality skills to keep up with the pace of the game. Harpal Singh pumped Hockey Haryana’s second goal in the 15th minute while Mohammed Raheel Mouseen scored an equalizer in the 20th minute. It was Pradhan Somanna’s 21st minute goal that clinched the match for Hockey Karnataka and their defence stood out as they didn’t crumble in the dying minute of the match to hold on to the win.
In the second semifinal between Hockey Maharashtra and Hockey Punjab, Devindar Walmiki (1’, 7’, 8’, 26’, 27’) starred in the home team’s win with five goals scintillating goals that had the packed stadium in raptures. Aishwarya Chavan (23’) too scored in Hockey Maharashtra’s win while Hardik Singh (2’, 18’), Jarmanpreet Singh (6’), Reena Rani (12’) scored for Hockey Punjab. The first two quarters were closely contested by the two teams with Hockey Haryana in 4-3 lead after Hardik scored in the 18th minute. But Aishwarya Chavan’s equalizer was a game changer. The hosts dented Hockey Punjab’s hopes as Walmiki tore through their defence to score the winning goals.
On November 19, Hockey Haryana will take on Uttar Pradesh Hockey in the 1st Semi Final of the 2nd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship Women 2017 at 08.30 hours; Hockey Punjab to play Hockey Maharashtra in the 2nd Semi Final at 09.30 hours.
In the Semi Final of the 2nd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship Men 2017, Hockey Karnataka will take on Hockey Maharashtra at 10.30 hours while Uttar Pradesh Hockey will play Hockey Haryana in the second Semi Final at 11.30 hours.
Please find attached the photos, and match schedule of the Hockey India 5-a-side National Championship (Combined Men & Women) 2017 and 2nd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship 2017 Men & Women.