MIT ends WGSHA’s winning spree, wins on penalties
MANIPAL: Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) denied Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) a successful defence of their title in a scoreline that read 3-1 (on penalties), to win the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Inter-Collegiate Hockey Tournament here at the MIT Grounds on Tuesday, February 26. Their victory meant their avenge was complete after WGSHA defeated the former in the 2018 final.
WGSHA pressed early on in the first quarter, keeping the ball in MIT’s half but missing the opportunity to take an early lead. MIT’s first real threat led to the first (of many) penalty corner in the first quarter, but WGSHA denied them a chance to get an upper hand in the game. Towards the end of the quarter, MIT were saved by the skin of their teeth after a goal by Sabal Gupta was disallowed, since the ball went in after the whistle for timeout was blown.
The second quarter was much more intense, with both sides launching attacks, one after the other, but failing to get a breakthrough. MIT failed to capitalise on a penalty corner in a quarter where WGSHA maintained possession and often caught their opposition off guard. A WGSHA penalty corner minutes away from the half-time was somehow kept away from goal to keep the score 0-0 at half-time.
The anxiety to take the lead was evident in the second half as WGSHA unleashed an overtly attacking gameplay, but failed to provide the finishing touch after a tap-in was missed, following a brilliant sense of positional play. This resulted in MIT losing the ball cheaply in their own box, falling victim to WGSHA’s move of pressing onto the defenders. The frustration of not being able to beat the goalkeeper was reflected onto the faces of the players, with unlawful tackles flying in, forcing the referee to take the green card out of his pocket. The aggressive play was reminiscent of the 2018 final, while MIT was looking for revenge, WGSHA was going all-in to maintain its supremacy.
However, towards the end of the final quarter, MIT ran into the risk of handing WGSHA the trophy, after Sabal Gupta was brought down in their box, for which the referee, much to their delight, awarded only a penalty corner. The ball was again kept out by MIT despite WGSHA desperately trying to find an opening to shoot in-front of goal. With neither side being able to score after full-time, the match was taken into penalties.
MIT failed to convert their first penalty, but did not let WGSHA score too in their first two penalty attempts. By this time, MIT maintained a narrow lead of 2-1. MIT putting their fourth stroke in the net meant that WGSHA had to score to keep themselves in the match.
But MIT’s keeper brilliantly saved the penalty in the crucial moment to win the match and the tournament for his college.
In the semi-finals played on Monday, MIT beat Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore 2-0 to face WGSHA, who had beaten KMC, Manipal in a scoreline that read 2-1. The Inter-MAHE Hockey Tournament was held over a period of two days, on February 25-26 and was organised by Manipal College of Nursing (MCON).
Featured Image Courtesy: Aditya Mathur
Edited by: Tarush Dhume