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Manipur Hockey will face Hockey Haryana while Uttar Pradesh Hockey will meet Hockey Jharkhand in the Semi Final on Wednesday.
High-scorers Manipur Hockey and Hockey Jharkhand will be in focus as the Semi Final of the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2021 gets underway on Wednesday here in Jind, Haryana. The first Semi Final sees Manipur Hockey face Hockey Haryana while Uttar Pradesh Hockey will meet Hockey Jharkhand later in the day.
Hockey Jharkhand have been in sublime form, they have scored 26 goals so far and won their Quarter Final clash against Hockey Chandigarh by a resounding 7-0 margin and start as favourites against Uttar Pradesh Hockey.
Hockey Jharkhand coach Adam Horo believes that his team can continue to keep up their winning momentum. He said, "I am really happy with the way the boys have applied themselves in the tournament so far. We are feeling confident of doing well in the Semi Final also. We worked hard on our short passing and finishing during the camp before the start of the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2021 and I'm glad that it has paid off and we hope to make further progress."
Uttar Pradesh Hockey had two of their pool games forfeited but registered a comfortable 3-0 win against Hockey Bihar in their Quarter Final clash. Having reached the Final in the previous edition, Uttar Pradesh Hockey now target going one step higher in Jind. Despite being short of match practice in the 11th Hockey Sub Junior Men National Championship 2021, Uttar Pradesh Hockey coach Vikas Pal is encouraged by his wards' performance in their Quarter Final.
"Our preparations were good but unfortunately, two of our pool games were forfeited. We faced a tough team in the Quarter Final but the boys put up a very good show there. [Semi Final opponents] Hockey Jharkhand have had a good tournament but we're confident of going to the Final and winning it this time," Pal said.
Manipur Hockey have emerged as tournament favourites having beaten tournament top-scorers Hockey Maharashtra in a six-goal thriller, and knocking out holders Hockey Odisha via a shootout in their Quarter Final clash.
Manipur Hockey coach Robert Singh Moirangthem has a tough battle ahead against Hockey Haryana. "Because of Covid-19, our preparations took a hit but we were determined to do well in this tournament. I expect a good performance from our players once again in the Semi Final. Winning or losing is secondary; I want my boys to give their 100 percent and express themselves against Hockey Haryana," said Robert.
Hockey Haryana coach Gurvinder Singh was vary of his opponents in their last-four clash. Gurvinder's side eased into the last-four stage with a 2-0 win over Punjab Hockey. "Manipur Hockey have been playing well but I'm confident that my team will give them a tough fight. I am happy with how our defence has performed so far. We need to be smart and capitalise on our chances in the Semi Final," he said.
Both Semi Final matches will be played on Wednesday, March 24. Manipur Hockey Vs Hockey Haryana starts at 0900 hours tomorrow. The second Semi Final between Uttar Pradesh Hockey and Hockey Jharkhand starts at 1600 hours tomorrow.