BP to meet Colts in Nehru Hockey final

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Gurgaon, Nov 24 (UNI) In an incident marred encounter, Bharat Petroleum (BP) overpowered defending champion Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) 1-0 today to set up a title clash with Indian Colts in the 45th Nehru Hockey Tournament here.

The final is slated for tomorrow.

The match between BP and the Bank men was ill-tempered and rough with players going after each other rather than the ball, and the umpires had to show five yellow cards to keep the proceedings under control.

Earlier in the first semi-final, Indian Colts thrashed ONGC XI 4-0.

Danish Mujtaba struck a brace for the Colts while drag-flicker Diwakar Ram and Jai Karan scored the remaining two goals.

The match between PSB and BP started on a fast pace with both the teams having several Internationals in their ranks.

The Bank men could have grabbed the lead in the ninth minute but Ranjodh Singh failed to beat the rival goalkeeper.

The defending champions were left to rue the missed chance as Bharat Petroleum's Ravi Pal (24th min) slammed in a penalty corner and that turned out to be the winner.

The goal prompted PSB to up the ante and the pace of the match increased. However, they failed to grab the equaliser as BP was happy to sit back and defend their lead, especially in the second half.

Towards the end, Sarvanjit Singh unleashed a through for Navpreet Singh who dribbled past a BP defender but his shot hit the left post.

In the earlier match, the Indian Colts dominated the game from the beginning and gave little leeway to their opponents. The speedy Colts ran their rivals ragged. Many of the ONGC XI players were clearly not in the best of shape.

Mujtaba could have grabbed a hat-trick but he missed a golden chance in the 12th minute. An accurate through from Jai Karan found him clear in the rival penalty area with just the goalkeeper to beat. Mujtaba, however, failed to tap in.

India Colts went into the lead in the 20th minute when the hardworking Mandip Antil found Mujtaba, who made no mistake this time round, finding the target with a reverse flick.

Diwakar (26th min) doubled the lead with a powerfully taken penalty corner.

Karan (52nd min) made the issue safe for his team, scoring a field goal off a fine move. Mujtaba (54th min) completed his brace just a couple of minutes later as India Colts won in a comprehensive fashion.


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