Junior Asia Cup Triumph: Odisha Trio Helps India Conquer Pakistan; Dilip Tirkey Announces Cash Award For Players
Bhubaneswar: The trio of Sudeep Chirmako, Sunit Lakra and Amandeep Lakra made Odisha proud by helping India emerge champions in the Men’s Junior Asia Cup Hockey Championship at Oman’s Salalah.
Victory tasted even more sweet as the Indians overcame arch-rivals Pakistan 2-1 in the final on Thursday night.
The Indians, who thus qualified for the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup to be held in Malaysia, were immediately rewarded as Hockey India announced a cash award of Rs 2 lakh each for players and Rs 1 lakh each for support staff.
Announcing the reward, Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said, “Indian Junior Men’s team has made us all extremely proud with their unbeaten performance at the Junior Asia Cup. The team has shown great promise over the past few months, particularly after their historic win at the Sultan of Johor Cup they have become a dominate force.. I believe this big win will hold them in good stead for the Junior World Cup later this year. Hockey India has decided to honour the players for this feat with a befitting cash award. I congratulate the team and the support staff for their efforts.”
In a thrilling and well-contested final, India won 2-1. India went 2-up within 20 minutes, thanks to strikes from Angad Bir Singh and Araijeet Singh Hundal.
Pakistan roared back into the contest and raided the Indian citadel time and again. A brilliant field goal by Basharat Ali, 8 minutes after half-time, helped Pakistan close the gap.
They pressed for the equaliser, but some outstanding saves by Indian custodian Mohith Honnenahalli helped India stay in front till the end.
It was a record fourth triumph for India in the Men’s Junior Asia Cup, having previously won the title in 2004, 2008 and 2015. Pakistan have won the tournament thrice — in 1988, 1992, 1996.