Double crown for MPHA
Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) defended their West Zone Hockey India sub-junior national title in style by winning both, the boys and girls crowns at MHA-Mahindra Stadium yesterday.
In the boys’ final, MPHA didn’t have to struggle much to register an 8-3 win over depleted Hockey Maharashtra (HM), while in girls’ final, MPHA beat HM 7-0 for the title.
The finalists in both boys’ and girls’ — MPHA and HM will now compete in the Hockey India inter-zonal sub-junior tournament scheduled to be played at Bhopal from May 21 to 27.
HM boys had to rely on their injured players — Sumit Prasad (groin injury), goalkeeper Kenneth Anthony (foot injury), Aquib Sayyed (ankle sprain) and Saurabh Suthar (muscle pull) — to fire, but they failed to do so against a much fitter MPHA side.
MPHA led 4-0 in the first half. For MPHA, skipper Mohd Nizamuddin, Mohd Umar and Arjun Sharma scored a brace each while Amin Khan and Manish Gurung scored a goal apiece. HM striker Sumit Prasad scored two goals in the second half, but didn’t get any support.
Altamash Sayyed scored the third goal for HM. Despite the loss, HM coach Ranvir Singh Bhatti was proud of his boys. “Four of our key players were injured. What mattered to me is that they put up a brave fight against the defending champions. I am proud of their achievement,” Bhatti said.