Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) [India], April 30 (ANI): The semi-finals of the 2nd Hockey India Junior Men Academy National Championship 2022 are upon us and the top four teams - Army Boys Sports Company, SAIL Hockey Academy, Naval Tata Hockey Academy- Jamshedpur and Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy will battle it out on Saturday for a place in the final of the second edition of the tournament.
The first semi-final will witness Army Boys Sports Company and SAIL Hockey Academy square off against each other. Army Boys Sports Company, who are currently the highest goal-scoring team in the tournament, are coming off a hard-fought 3-1 in a shootout against Smart Hockey Academy, Raipur in their quarter final match.
Speaking about the team's semi-final match against SAIL Hockey Academy, Army Boys Sports Company Coach Chandrashekhar Khalkho said, "We will be facing a tough team, they are slightly more experienced than us so it will be challenging for us. We will have to play more attacking hockey and convert our chances tomorrow. If we reach the final, it will be a great achievement for the team, and I am confident that we will do well."
On the other hand, SAIL Hockey Academy, won their quarter-final match by a comprehensive 7-2 margin against Markandeshwar Hockey Academy.
"Reaching the semi-finals is an achievement in itself and I feel very proud of all our players. I am expecting a tough fight from our opponents, the Army Boys Sports Company in the upcoming match but we are confident and hopeful of doing well in the match," said SAIL Hockey Academy Team Manager Raju Kant Saini.
In the second semi-final, the hosts Naval Tata Hockey Academy, Jamshedpur, will be up against Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy. The home side are coming off a thrilling 3-1 win against Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy in the quarter-final.
"We have performed well in the tournament so far because of our hard work and perseverance. We have to continue giving our best and the boys are only focused on reaching the final," team coach Himanshu said.
Meanwhile, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy, who registered a clinical 5-2 win in their quarter-final match against SGPC Hockey Academy, will look to keep the momentum going in the semi-final.
Ahead of their semi-final game, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy Coach Balwinder Singh said, "The boys have put in their heart and soul into the tournament and reaching the semi-finals is a proof of that. The team always goes into every match with zeal and proper structure whether it's the first match or the finals."
"I am very grateful to Hockey India for such an amazing platform as it gives more players a chance to reach the National Camp," he added.
SF 1 - Army Boys Sports Company vs SAIL Hockey Academy at 0730 hrs IST
SF 2 - Naval Tata Hockey Academy-Jamshedpur vs Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy at 0930 hrs IST. (ANI)