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JR. NATIONALS: It's Chandigarh's Cup (2/21/2001)
Junior National Championship:Day XI: WEDNESDAY 21 Feb, 2001:

Chandigarh Walks Away with the Honour

Chennai, Feb 20: It was Mangra Munda, the star midfielder of the Chandigarh, whose smashing hit in the fifth minute in the extra time of a penalty corner that sealed the fate of the Mumbai, who had to contend again with the runner-up trophy second year running.

After regulation time ended in a 2-2 draw, the golden goal rule had to be introduced. Despite two of their star players -Inderjeet Singh and Jaswinder Singh - were absent(they were summoned by their employer IOC for the Inter-petroleum hockey championships to be held at Hyderabad this week), Chandigarh shot into the lead in the very third minute through Mandeep Singh.

It was Munda who inspired as he dribbled past several defenders and entered into the circle, where the alert Bombay goalie, who spotted the onrushing Munda, came forward to thwart the move but the alert Munda caught the Bishnoi on wrong foot before sending a pass to centre where the opportunisitc Mandeep with open goal ahead neatly placed the ball into the net.

Stung by the reverse, Bombay intensifed its forays which ended with the equalizer. Vijay Alphonso in a solo run made that happen. He took the ball through from the right flank, dribbled till the goal-line and gently tapped over the legs of goalkeeper Maninder Singh to make it 1-1.

Thereafter, both the teams played for the lead and the defence of both the outfits stood to theri ground and the brether came at the score of 1-1.

Again it was the combination of Munda and Mandeep, with able support coming from Rajpal Singh and Gurpreet Singh that paved way for UT team's lead. In the 42nd minute, Mandeep received a cross from Munda and connected it successfuly for the lead.

A goal in arrear, Bombay made many inroads into the rival citadel and their moves fetched them a penalty corner in the 52nd minute. Alphonso, who took the push was waiting at the goal post. He received a return pass from Vikram Pillai and then gently pushed it into the net as rival's defender goalkeeper left huge gap hurry as they were to defend the straight shot. The regulation time thus saw both sharing four goals.

In the extra-time, it was Chandigarh which attacked from the word go.It earned a penalty corner in the fifth minute which Munda made it memorable with his immaculate conversion. However, Bombay won the accolades from the crowd. They cheered the Bombay tema from the word go. Bombay earned as many as six penalty corners two more than Chandigarh contended with four and their first penalty corner was in the 67th minute.

Niranjan Madi, member-secretary, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, gave away runner-up prizes to Mumbai while K R Suresh Kumar, Chief Divisional Manager of the Indian Oil Corporation did the same honour for the winners.

Ethiraj College girls presented a befitting band party and added colour to the exciting final.

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