BP, Army XI reach semi-finals of Ranjit Singh hockey tourney

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) Bharat Petroleum (BP) and Army XI chalked out contrasting wins over their respective opponents to reach the semi-finals of the 4th Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Tournament here today.

In a Pool I match, a star-studed Bharat Petroleum downed Punjab National Bank (PNB) 2-0 while in Pool II, Army XI waged grim battle before stroking out Punjab and Sindh Bank (PSB) 5-3 via the tie-breaker.

After a drab, goalless first half, the match sprung into life in the second half when Pundulik Bellary scored a fine goal in the 48th minute to put BP in the lead.

Former India international Sabu Varkey (52nd) soon increased the lead to make it 2-0.

PNB were unable to score despite some fine moves as BP held on to their lead to emerge victorious.

In the other match, PSB snatched the lead just before the stroke of half-time as Tassavarjit Singh (35th) slammed home a penalty corner.

The bankmen increased their lead in the second half through a fine field goal by Kulwinder Singh (44th).

However, the armymen staged a superb comeback and soon drew level through goals by Eliazer lakra (53rd) and Dhananjay Mahadhik (57th, PC).

In the tie-breaker, Eliazer Lakra, Anil Ekka and Chittranjan Singh hit the target for Army XI while Dhananjay Mahadhik and Sunil Ekka failed to score.

However, except for Mandeep Singh, all the PSB players failed to convert their chances as Army XI emerged deserving winners.

Army XI will take on Bharat Petroleum while Air India (North) will face favourites Indian Oil in the semi-finals to be played tomorrow.

UNI AB RKM RN1924

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