Madhya Pradesh finds form; Haryana, Maharashtra enter quarters

A nine-goal performance saw Madhya Pradesh find form in the 10th Senior National Women's Hockey Championship on Sunday.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Azlan Shah Cup is the latest sporting event to be affected by the deadly coronavirus.

Madhya Pradesh shrugged off its indifferent form and fired on all cylinders after the break (Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

Last year's runner-up Madhya Pradesh ran into form and served notice to its rival after scoring a thumping 9-0 win over Kerala in a Pool A match of the 10th Senior National Women's Hockey championship (A division) at the National Games Hockey stadium here on Sunday. Haryana and Maharashtra, 2019's semifinalist, scored fine wins to seal their places in the quarterfinals.

Madhya Pradesh began offensively and got off a dream start against the host when Narender Kaur sounded the boards in the very first minute. By the end of the first quarter, Madhya Pradesh was ahead 4-0. Kerala plugged the holes in the defence and played postively in the second quarter and managed to earn a couple of penalty corners. Madhya Pradesh shrugged off its indifferent form and fired on all cylinders after the break.

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The  efficiency and cohesion displayed by Madhya Pradesh forwards exposed the chinks in Kerala's fragile defence and Karishma SIngh struck twice in the third quarter to complete her hat-trick.  Akansha Singh and Narender Kaur scored in the fourth quarter to complete the rout. WIth its third consecutive defeat, Kerala crashed out of the tournament.  Haryana scored a fluent 8-0 win over Karnataka and booked its place in the quarterfinals from Pool B.

Prolific striker Deepika was once again outstanding and scored a hat-trick. Karnataka started well in the first quarter when it had more of the possession. But the early promise faded away as Karnataka was forced to back pedal and defend when Haryana found its rhythm. The Northern State piled up pressure by attacking from both flanks. Annu was the livewire of the attack and she created space and chances for her team-mates.

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Karnataka's resistance finally broke when Mahima Choudhary opened the scoring  by converting a penalty corner in the 14th minute and Annu made it 2-0 in the very next minute. Haryana underlined its dominance by  scoring at regular intervals. Perhaps the only blemish in Haryana's win was the wasted penalty stroke by hat-trick hero Deepika in the last quarter.

Maharasthra blanked Punjab 3-0 for its third consecutive win pool C. The win effectively puts the last year's semifinalist into the quarterfinals.

The results

Madhya Pradesh 9 (Karishma Singh 3, 8, 37, 42, Narender Kaur 1, 50, Neelu Dadiya 10, Akansha Singh 54, Raju Ranwa 41) bt Kerala 0

Haryana 8 (Deepika 23, 42, 49, Annu 15, 25, Mahima Choudhary 14, Devika Sen 57, Poonam Rani  50) bt Karnataka 0

Uttar Pradesh 3 (Vinamrata Yadav 14, 20, Archana Bhardwaj 47) bt Tamil Nadu 1 (R.Kavya 41)

Maharashtra 3 (Pooja 11, Rutuja Pisal 24, Bhavana Khade 58) bt Punjab 0

Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 2 (Karishma Yadav 36, Ishika Chaudhary 56) bt Jharkhand 0

CRPF 5 (Puja Yadav 49, 55, Pinki Ekka 24, Sushma Kumari 35, Priya Rai 52) bt Chandigarh 1 (Anjali Mahto 30)


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