Friendship Cup Football Tournament 2023: Tata Steel XI beat Officers XI

Bhubaneswar: Tata Steel XI beat Officers XI 2-1 to win the Friendship Cup Football Tournament 2023 at the Odisha Football Academy Stadium on Sunday, October 1. Sangi Jamuda and Rajesh Kumar Barla each scored a goal for Tata Steel XI, the winning team.

Four teams participated in the tournament. Tata Steel XI was led by Rajiv Seth (Project Director at Naval Tata Hockey Academy, Odisha), Leaders XI was led by Dr. Arun Sahoo (MLA, Nayagarh), Officers XI was led by Devi Biswal (Director of Mines, GoO), and Saswat Mishra (PCCF, GoO), and Media XI was led by Soumyajit Pattnaik (Chief Editor, Kalinga TV). Tata Steel XI emerged as the winner, while Officers XI was the runner-up.

Prominent dignitaries in attendance included Pradeep Kumara Amat, Minister for Finance, Government of Odisha, Tushar Kanti Behera, Minister of State for Electronics & IT, Sports & Youth Services, and Home, Odisha, and Niranjan Pujari, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Odisha, among others.

Several eminent senior journalists attended the event, including K.Ravi, (Resident Editor, Statesman), Sisir Bhatta Mishra, Nandighosha (News Editor), Radhamadhab Mishra (OTV News Editor), Bijay Ketan Mishra (Editor, India Whispers, and State Information Commissioner), Malaya Nayak Samay (News Editor), Nabin Das Nirbhaya (Editor), Manoranjan Mishra (Editor, Kanak TV), Soumyajit Patnaik (Editor, Kalinga TV), Sufian (PTI TV Wing Bureau Chief), Sujit Bisoyi (State Correspondent, Indian Express), Koustav Das (News Editor, Odisha Bhaskar), Debendra Prusty (Editor, Odisha Reporter), Akshaya Sahoo (State Correspondent, Asian Age), Subhasish Mohanty (State Correspondent, The Telegraph).

In the semi-finals, Officers XI defeated Leaders XI 2-0 in a closely contested match, while Tata Steel XI defeated Media XI 4-1. The Man of the Match for the first match was Ramaswamy of Officers XI, the second match was won by Debashish Nayak of Tata Steel XI, and the third Match was awarded to Amitabh Thakur of Officers XI. Dr. Arun Sahoo of Leaders XI and Yogesh Pancheswar of Tata Steel XI were adjudged the best forward, and Jaganath Nayak of Leaders XI was declared the best goalkeeper. The Best Defender award was presented to Rajiv Seth of Tata Steel XI, the highest scorer was Anurag Mishra of Officers XI, the Best All-rounder was Suresh Ch. Mohapatra of Officers XI, Saswat Mishra of Officers XI and Bijay Ketan Mishra of Media XI was awarded the best half, the Fairplay award went to Leaders XI and the Best Disciplined team award was given to Media XI.