South Cen­tral Rail­way down Pun­jab Po­lice

The Free Press Journal - - SPORTS -

South Cen­tral Rail­way (SCR) Se­cun­drabad dished out an­other good com­bined per­for­mance and romped to a 4-3 win against Pun­jab Po­lice in a fast-paced and ex­cit­ing Pool-A league match of the 13th PMC BankGuru Tegh Ba­hadur Gold Cup All In­dia Hockey Tour­na­ment, played at the MHAL-Mahin­dra Sta­dium, Church­ga­teon Saturday evening.

The south­ern team fin­ished with an all-win record and topped the pool while Pun­jab Po­lice who suf­fered their first de­feat fin­ished in sec­ond place. Both ad­vanced to last four.

South Cen­tral Rail­way will now take on Pool-B run­ners-up Army XI in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal on Mon­day at 4.30 pm, while Pun­jab Po­lice will meet In­dian Oil in the first semi-fi­nal at 2.30 pm.

The Se­cun­drabad out­fit took the lead from their sec­ond penalty cor­ner when full backs Ga­gan­deep Singh’s drag-flick went in through goal­keeper Har­jot Singh’s pads in the 19th minute. How­ever the rail­way­men looked to have lost steam to­wards the end of the first half and the Pun­jab policemen cashed in on the sit­u­a­tion and pushed for­ward. They re­peat­edly raided the ri­val ter­ri­tory and forced few penalty cor­ners and man­aged to con­vert two. First Olympian Dhar­mvir Singh tapped in the re­bound af­ter Har­bir Sandhu’s try from their third penalty cor­ner was blocked by goal­keeper Sushant Tirkey’s pads in the 27th minute. Two min­utes later, Hardeep Singh with a di­rect hit scored from the fifth penalty cor­ner to give Pun­jab Po­lice the lead.

SCR re­stored par­ity im­me­di­ately on re­sump­tion when Syed Niyaz Rahim scored with a rasp­ing drive from the top of the cir­cle in the 38th minute and 10 min­utes later Mayank James scored with an an­gu­lar hit to help SCR re­gain the lead. The rail­way­men in­creased the lead with Ga­gan­deep con­vert­ing an­other penalty cor­ner in the 62nd­minute. The Pun­jab cops man­aged to cut the mar­gin when Gur­winder Singh scored from a penalty cor­ner late in the game.

Ear­lier in a match of no sig­nif­i­cance, Cen­tral Rail­way af­ter con­ced­ing an early goal, man­aged to turn things around with two strikes from penalty cor­ners in each half to snatch a 2-1 win against MHAL Pres­i­dent’s XI in a PoolB en­counter. Mayur Patil gave Pres­i­dent’s XI an early lead when he scored a field goal in the very sixth minute. But, Cen­tral Rail­way fought back and got the equaliser through Harmeet Singh’s short cor­ner con­ver­sion in the 23rd minute be­fore con­sis­tent scorer Ra­jen­dra Pawar scored the win­ner from an­other penalty cor­ner in the 61st minute. There will be no match on Sun­day.

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