India Junior Hockey team trounce SAI B in the opening match of the Khelo India Women’s Hockey League tournament

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Dragflick Newsdesk : India Juniors scored a hard-fought 6-0 victory over Sports Authority of India B in its opening Group A match in the inaugural Khelo India U-21 Women’s Hockey League (Phase I) at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here in the national capital on Wednesday.

Deepika did the star turn for the National side with four goals, including a hat-trick in the
final quarter. Anjali Panwar went one better in scoring five goals for Khalsa Hockey Academy (Amritsar) in another Group A match that saw her team post a 15-0 win against Mumbai Schools Sports Association.

Earlier, Odisha Naval Tata High-Performance Centre, Bhubaneswar, beat Raja Karan
Hockey Academy, Karnal 1-0 through a Priya Toppo penalty corner in the 26th minute.

A second-half hat-trick by Poonam Mundu was the highlight of the 7-1 victory by Sports
Authority of India A over Odisha Sports Hostel, Bhubaneswar in the first Group B match
of the 14-team tournament on an eventful opening day which saw Minister for Youth
Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur unveil the trophies and declare the League
open.

It was natural that there was greater attention on the Indian Juniors’ squad, preparing for
the postponed FIH Junior Women’s World Cup in South Africa. It was off to a slow start
against SAI B, intent on crowding out the attackers and defending well.

But the 18-year old Hissar girl Deepika scored off a penalty corner in the 12th minute to break the deadlock.

Deepika slotted home two minutes into the second quarter and completed her hat-trick
with a penalty corner conversion early in the second half. Hard as SAI B tried to keep the
scoreline down, India Juniors doubled the tally in the final quarter through Mumtaz Khan
and Beauty Dung Dung whose penalty corner goals sandwiched a field goal by Deepika.

The India Juniors’ coach Erik Wonink said the team was delighted at the opportunity to
play competitive matches and was happy with the cohesion that is displayed while
complimenting SAI B for putting up a stiff challenge.

“While Deepika scored four goals, I liked how others were in positions to score or create
penalty corners,” said the coach as per an official release.

Simranjeet Kaur joined Anjali Panwar as the two Khalsa Hockey Academy players who
found the target often, her four goals ensuring that the pair accounted for nine of the 15
goals by the team.

Mumbai Schools Sports Association would draw consolation from stopping the Amritsar
squad from scoring in the third quarter after conceding 13 in the first half

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