Punjab thrash Maharashtra 7-1 in National Hockey
Jalandhar, Oct 24 (UNI) Hosts Punjab, already through to the knockout stage, recorded their fourth successive win, handing out a 7-1 thrashing to Maharashtra in the their Pool-A match in the Dainik Bhaskaer Tracer 62nd National Hockey Championship here today.
In the other match at the Olympian Surjit Singh hockey stadium here, Chhattisgarh upset promising Indian Universities 4-3 in a well fought Group A league match.
With this fourth successive win, the star-studded Punjab team has earned 12 points to ensure top position in league round from group A where as the Universities after today's defeat have lost their chances to move into the knockout round.
In the matches played at Bhaini Sahib, Rajasthan defeated Himachal Pradesh 3-2, after leading 2-0 at half time in a Pool-E match, while Indian Airlines, who are already through to the knochout stage, toyed with Jharkhand to win 14-0 after leading 7-0 at half time in another Pool-E encounter.
At the GNDU campus in Amritsar, Andhra Pradesh threashed Andaman and Nicobar 28-0 after leading 11-0 at half time in a Pool-B match, while Madhya Bharat recorded their first win defeateing Uttranachal 5-1 in Pool-D.
Punjab dominated the match against low profile Maharashtra and the hosts star combination of Olympian Baljit Singh Dhillon (one), Captain Kamalpreet Singh (two), Jugraj Singh(one) and upcoming Ranjodh Singh(one) virtually diktated terms.
The winning teams account was opened by Avtar Singh(Sr) in the 5th minute through a field goal. Soon after captain Kamalpreet struck in the 9th minute landing the ball into the goal on a flawless penalty corner hit.
In the second half Punjab winger Ranjodh Singh stormed into the rival D and posted a spectacular field goal.Kuljit Singh scored another goal on a solo move in the 49th minute. Two minutes later Kamalpreet scored his second goal of the team(5-0).
In the 59th minute, Baljit Dhillon sounded the boards to make it 6-0 and tn the dying moments Rajnodh Singh made another foray into the penalty area and was blocked wrongly by a defender and the resultant stroke was converted by Jugraj Singh. the goal.
In the 60th minute Mukand Rajput scored the lone goal for the losers.
In the second match at Ludhiana, Tamilnadu overcame a spirited fight from Haryana to win 2-1, after leading by a solitary goal in the first half. Both the goals for the winners came off the stick of Aswan Balasubramaniam. Tamilnadu opened their accound in the 25th minute when Balasubramaniam intercepeted a hit from the right flank and with a angular push beat the rival custodian. Haryana restored parity immediately after the breather with Satish Kumar scoring off a penalty corner.
The winner for Tamilnadu came in the 55th minute, with Balasubramaniam converted a penalty corner to make it 2-1 in favour of his team.
At the GNDU campus In Amritsar, Chandigarh beat Orissa 5-1 after remaining tied 1-1 at half time. Down by a goal in the 20th minute, restored parity in the 33rd minute through Dharamvir Singh, who scored three goals in the match.
The second half belonged to the lads from the Union Territory, with Baldev singh getting two goals in the 40th and 47th minutes. it was then the turn of Dharamvir who got two more goals in the 54th and 60th minute.
In the second match Andhra Pradesh were shocked 5-6 by Pondicherry, after both teams were tied at 3-3 till half time.It was a ding-dong battle between the two Southern teams and in the 64th minute of play both were tied at 5-5. It was in the last minute of play that R Saravanan scored a field goal to send Andhra out of the tournament.
In the last match of the day, Patiala routed Andaman and Nicobar after leading 10-0 at half time to move into the knockout stage at the expense of Andhra. For the winners Amrik and Kulwinder got a brace.
At the Olympian Surjit Singh hockey stadium here, Bihar recorded its first victory defeating Chhattishgarh 2-1 in the last league match in Pool-A while Madhya Pradesh defeated Manipur by a identical margin in Pool C. However, despite today's victory MP could not get a berth for the next knock out round of the tournament, where as despite the defeat Chhattisgarh with six points finished league round at second position and qualified for the knockout round.
Madhya Pradesh's Asad Khan helped his team take an early lead in the 19th minute of the match> They hung of to the solitary goallea till the 60th minute when P Adeba of Manipur secured the equaliser.
However in the dying moments, Asad Khan struck again to tilt the match in his team's favour.
In the last match, Bihar and Chhatitishgarh opened up with determination but in the 13th minute, Bihar took the lead with a fine field goal by Prejan Barla.
In the bery next minute, M Herenj of Chhattisgarh got the equaliser through a field goal(1-1). Bihar captain Xavier Gidh got the decisive goal in 18th minute.