AIr India ground defending champs Army XI; BSF drub BPCL

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Mumbai, Apr 18 (UNI) In a day of upsets, local outfit Air India grounded reigning champions Army XI 3-1 in a Pool X match in the semifinal league of 45th All India Bombay Hockey Gold Cup at Mahindra stadium here today.

In a pool Y tie, BSF Jalandhar had no difficulty in beating BPCL by a huge 4-1 margin.

Air India shot into the lead in 15th minute when their captain converted a penalty corner with a superb drag flick to give the early advantage to his team.

Army XI tried hard to find the equaliser but were denied by the superb defence of the Airmen specially their custodian Gurpreet Singh, who brought off tremendous saves.

The defending champions, however, got the equaliser after change of ends when Anil Kumar Ekka brilliantly deflected a cross into the goal in the 44th minute to bring the match on parity at 1-1.

Air India, were, however, not to be denied a victory and started attacking the rival citadel with renewed vigour. This paid of as in the 56th minute Dilbagh Singh scored from close range to put his side up 2-1. The final nail in the coffin was struck by Harshpreet Singh in the 64th minute when he made it 3-1 to put the match beyond the reach of the Armymen.

In the second tie, BSF Jalandhar helped by a brace from Ranjit Singh scoring in the 14th and 44th minutes took them to an easy victory over BPCL. The other goal scorers for BSF were Mukhjinder SIngh in the 48th minute and Gurpreet Singh in the 63rd minute. BPCL got an consolation goal in the dying moments of the match through Sabu Varkey.


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