BHOPAL: Odisha were crowned as the champions of the 12th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2022 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh following a thrilling 2-0 victory over Karnataka in the final of the competition.
The final match was a closely contested affair between Karnataka and Odisha. Both the teams started well, as they created several goal-scoring opportunities. But both teams defended well and the match went to half time with the scoreline reading 0-0. Punam Barla (34') opened the scoring in the match as Odisha picked up the lead. Ashim Kanchan Barla (59') scored a late goal as Odisha beat Karnataka 2-0 to claim the championship.
Expressing his delight after the title win, Odisha head coach Edgar Joseph Mascarenhas said, "We did not take 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 held the ball in midfield. We scored a goal in the third quarter put them under a 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 positive coming into this tournament. We practiced really hard, twice a day in the heat in Odisha. We played to our strengths in the entire tournament. The senior players really held the team together and our goalkeeper played magnificently on the field. And today, really has been very fruitful for us," he said.
The first game of the day saw Haryana face off against Jharkhand for the 3rd/4th place position. The thrilling contest saw Dipti Toppo (28') open the scoring for Jharkhand, followed by goals from Albela Rani Toppo (40'), and Betan Dungdung (43'). Amandeep Kaur (55') and Bharti Saroha (56') scored a goal each for Haryana to take the game to the wire, but Jharkhand managed to pick a 3-2 win to earn a third-place finish in the competition.