Bhopal, 17 April 2022: Hockey Haryana were crowned as the Champions of the 12th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2022 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh with a thrilling 1-1 (3-1 SO) victory over Hockey Unit Of Tamil Nadu in the Final of the competition.
The thrilling Final encounter started with Deepak giving Hockey Haryana a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of the match, scoring an early goal for his side. But Saravana Kumar was able to quickly level the score, getting the equaliser in the 10th minute of the match for the Hockey Unit Of Tamil Nadu to make it 1-1. The two teams put on a terrific defensive display for the remainder of the regulation time, preventing any goals on their respective ends and thereby pushing the match into a Shootout. In the Shootout, Hockey Haryana scored thrice in the first four attempts, while Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu scored in the first attempt but missed in the following three attempts. Thus, Hockey Haryana emerged as the winners of the match, winning the trophy for the first time since 2011.
Speaking on the win, Hockey Haryana Head Coach Sandeep Sangwan said, “I am really proud of our achievement. It has been a pleasure to see the growth of our team over the years, and throughout this tournament as well. I was a member of the Coaching team when Hockey Haryana had won the Senior Men Nationals first time in 2011. Gagandeep Singh was the youngest member of that team and now he has led the team as Captain to our second Senior Men Nationals trophy. I cannot express in words how happy I feel about this win.”
“I feel immensely pleased and emotional, as well, over the success of our team. We performed to the best of our abilities in the tournament. Each and every member of the team gave their 100 percent and because of their commendable efforts, we were able to reach the final, and then win the final against a very strong Hockey Unit Of Tamil Nadu team,” he added.
Coach Sandeep Sangwan added that the win will motivate players at the Junior and Sub-Junior level to perform in a similar fashion and win more medals for the team. “Everyone will be motivated by our win and I am sure the players in every age group and category will be now be even hungrier to win more medals,” he said.
The bronze medal match of the day turned out to be a closely-contested affair between Hockey Maharashtra and Hockey Karnataka for the third/fourth-place position. Rajendra Pawar and Punith R score goals for their respective teams in the 12th minute, but Yathish Kumar B’s goal in the 23rd minute gave Hockey Karnataka a 2-1 lead. Harish Shindgi scored the equaliser in the 37th minute after Prajwal Moharkar scored the third goal for Hockey Maharashtra in the 42nd minute to put them in the lead. Goals from Deekshith S P in the 47th minute and Nachappa Ir in the 52nd minute led to Hockey Karnataka regaining their lead. Hockey Karnataka defended well in the final few minutes to win the match 4-3 and thereby claiming a third-place finish in the competition.