Bhubaneswar, May 17: Odisha won its first-ever gold in senior nationals as they beat Karnataka 2-0 in the final of the 12th HI Senior Women National Championship in Bhopal.
The Final match was a closely contested affair between Hockey Karnataka and the Hockey Association of Odisha. Both the teams started well, as they created several goal-scoring opportunities. However, solid defensive performances from both sides ensured that the match went into halftime with the scoreline reading 0-0.
Punam Barla (34′) opened the scoring in the match in the third Quarter as the Hockey Association Of Odisha picked up the lead. Ashim Kanchan Barla (59′) sealed the game with a late goal as the Hockey Association of Odisha beat Hockey Karnataka 2-0 to claim the Championship.
Expressing his delight after the title win Hockey Association of Odisha Head Coach Edgar Joseph Mascarenhas said, “We did not take Hockey Karnataka lightly. Even though we missed a couple of chances, we played well and had a lot of ball possession which was our game plan. We dominated the ball in midfield. We scored a goal in the third quarter to put them under pressure and then we closed the game with a late goal.”
He also went on to credit the senior players in the team for holding the team together in crucial situations. “We had set ourselves very positively coming into this tournament. We practiced really hard, twice a day in the heat of Odisha. We played to our strengths throughout the entire tournament. The senior players really held the team together and our goalkeeper played magnificently on the field,” he said.
While Odisha entered the final beating Jharkhand 5-0 in semifinal match, Karnataka beat Haryana 2-0 in another encounter.