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Women’s Khelo India Youth Games Qualifiers: Karnataka, Punjab, MP, UP, Make Winning Start

Top sides Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Jharkhand and Hockey Punjab picked up three points each in opening matches in the Women’s U-18) qualifiers for the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

Hockey Mizoram and the Hockey Association of Odisha shared a point after drawing the game.

The first match in Pool A saw Hockey Madhya Pradesh beat Hockey Haryana 3-1. Hockey Madhya Pradesh took the lead with a goal from Soniya Kumre (11′) but Hockey Haryana soon equalised as Ishika (17′) converted the penalty corner. Hockey Madhya Pradesh came roaring back in the second half to score two penalty corners from Swati (34′) and Bhumiksha Sahu (51′) to seal the victory.

Hockey Mizoram and Hockey Association of Odisha played out a 1-1 draw in the second match of Pool A. Hockey Mizoram’s Z Laldintluangi (8′) gave her team the lead after slotting in a penalty corner but Hockey Association of Odisha fought till the end and salvaged a point through Pratibha Ekka’s (57′) late equaliser.

The final match in Pool A saw Hockey Karnataka beat Hockey Maharashtra 4-1. Hockey Karnataka went on an early scoring spree with Gedela Gayatri (7′), Meher Kaur Mehta (13′), Kavyashree MD (15′), and captain Dechamma Ganapathi (19′) scoring a goal each. Hockey Maharashtra’s captain Himanshi Gawande (20′) scored a consolation goal for her team, informed Hockey India in a release on Tuesday.

The Pool B action began with a match between Hockey Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh Hockey, with the former winning easily 5-1. Niru Kullu (4′) and Sanjna Horo (7′) scored for Hockey Jharkhand to take a 2-0 lead, but Himanshi Gupta (15′) scored a penalty corner to pull one back for Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Soon after, Pramodni Lakra (20′, 53′, 58′) scored a hat-trick to put the game out of reach of her opponents.

The Pool B second match between Hockey Punjab and Manipur Hockey saw the 5-1 scoreline replicated in Hockey Punjab’s favour. Sukhveer Kaur (14′) opened the scoring for Hockey Punjab by slotting in a penalty stroke followed by a goal from Gurjeet Kaur (17′). Laishram Ritu Devi (33′) scored in the second half to lift Manipur Hockey’s spirits but Captain Jaisikdeep Kaur (34′), Ravneet Kaur (41′), and Pawanpreet Kaur (44′) scored soon after to confirm the victory for Hockey Punjab.

The Pool B clash between Hockey Chandigarh and Hockey Bihar was forfeited in the favour of Hockey Bihar.

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