Mumbai, Sep 16 (UNI) Twice in arrears, Indian Navy rallied to stun formidable Hyderabad XI 4-3 in a thrilling second round tie, of the eighth All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament at the Mahindra Stadium here today.
After holding sway in the first quarter, Hyderabad broke the deadlock through Prabhakar Singh off their second penalty corner in the 22nd minute to set the trend for a fast-paced encounter.
Navy wisely chose to attack and were rewarded in the 39th minute when Ajay Kumar brilliantly deflected a free-hit from the right into the goal.
Kumar made amends after being earlier foiled by Hyderabad XI goalkeeper C Santosh Kumar, and Heera Singh hit wide a second attempt.
Following a counter attack in the 40th minute, Hyderabad XI earned a penalty stroke and Prabhakar was on target with a firm push to the roof of the net.
It set the stage for an absorbing contest and there was a goal glut in an exciting second half.
Navy found the equaliser again in the 50th minute through Surendra Kumar before they took a surprise lead seven minutes later when A U Haque put them ahead.
With both teams striving hard, Hyderabad XI struck again as Chengappa kept them in the match with a brilliant field goal in the 65th minute.
With five minutes remaining and the match head for the tie-breaker, Ajay Kumar deservingly struck the winner in the 68th minute to set up a quarter-final clash with Punjab Police.
Earlier, Mumbai Port Trust trounced Maharashtra XI, Pune 3-0, after a scoreless first half.
MBT had to wait until the 37th minute to open their account through Vikram Yadav, while Mumtaz Ahmed added the second in the 51st and captain Leonard Pereira completed the tally in the 69th minute.
Port Trust were to meet Tamil Nadu XI in the second round, but after the latter's pullout, they face formidable Indian Oil in the quarter-finals.
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