Goa, 13 May 2022: Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Hockey are the top four teams in the 12th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2022 as the Semi-Final action is set to begin on Saturday here in Goa.
The first Semi-Final will witness Hockey Jharkhand and Hockey Association of Odisha square off against each other. The defending champions hockey Jharkhand are coming off a thrilling 4-2 shootout win against Hockey Chandigarh in their Quarter Final match.
Speaking ahead of their Semi-Final match, Hockey Jharkhand Coach Anu Rahul Minj said, "It will be a tough Semi-Final against Hockey Association of Odisha. No doubt, they are a very strong side, but I believe we will do well and leave no stones unturned to reach the Final. The shootout win in the Quarter-Final has boosted our confidence, and I think it has prepared us for the kind of challenge we are going to face against Odisha tomorrow."
On the other hand, Hockey Association of Odisha, who registered a clinical 2-0 win over Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Hockey will look to keep the momentum going in the Semi-Final to seal a spot in the Final of the tournament.
"I think both teams are equal and the match will be very tight tomorrow. We've performed well so far in the tournament, we will try to keep the momentum going and hopefully win to make it to the Final of the competition," said Hockey Association of Odisha Coach Lakshmi Narayana Pitti.
In the second Semi-Final, Hockey Haryana will be up against Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Both the teams are coming off comfortable wins in their respective Quarter-Final matches. Hockey Haryana registered a 5-1 win against Hockey Bihar, while Uttar Pradesh Hockey outplayed Hockey Punjab 6-1 in their Quarter-Final matches.
Speaking about their match-up against Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Haryana Coach Parveen Mor said, " It doesn't matter which team we face in any of the matches, our preparation remains the same. We have to approach each and every game positively and with an intent to win. So, that's how we will be facing Uttar Pradesh Hockey. We are confident of making it to the Final, and hopefully, clinch the title as well."
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Hockey Coach Vikas Pal said, "I would say the team has not performed up to its potential so far in the tournament, we did well in the Quarter-Final, but we will have to give our best against Hockey Haryana. They are a very good opponent to face in a match like this. I believe it will be a good game tomorrow."
The Semi-Finals of the 12th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2022 will be played on Saturday, 14 May 2022.
SF 1 - Hockey Jharkhand vs Hockey Association of Odisha at 0700 hrs IST
SF 2 - Hockey Haryana vs Uttar Pradesh Hockey at 1500 hrs IST
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