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Bharat Petroleum stun National champion Punjab and Sind Bank

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Playing to a plan, Bharat Petroleum created a huge upset as they stunned National Champion Punjanb and Sind Bank (PSB) 2-1 to storm into the semifinals of the 43rd Nehru Hockey Tournament here today.

Bharat Petroleum struck once in each half after conceding an early lead to the bankmen to emerge winner.

Earlier in the first quarter final, a three-goal blitz in a space of 15 minutes of the late second half enabled Namdhari XI to erase the first half one goal deficit to shunt Karnataka XI 3-1.

PSB, who were runners up last year, just could not click this afternoon and squandered the lead they got in the 14th minute. The bankmen simply flattered to deceive. They started the proceeding on an attacking note but could not sustain the tempo for long.

The bankmen surged ahead in the 14th minute through Rajwinder Singh, who capitalised on the defensive lapse to shot home (1-0).

But that was all for the bankmen as their much-vaunted forward line soon lost the steam and went haywire.

The lead lasted barely seven minutes as Bharat Petroleum fought back to equalise. The Oilmen played a percentage game and did not allow much quarter to their rivals who could earn only one penalty corner in the match. Bharat Petroleum forced three penalty corners but all were muffed.

The bankmen surprisingly became defensive after taking the lead, allowing their rivals to take control of the midfield and in the 21st minute Amar Aiyamma took advantage of the confusion in the bank team's defence to sent the ball into cage to make it 1-1.

Bharat Petroleum mantained their domination in the second session and midway through this half, struck through Pundalik Bellary whose goal caught the bank defenders napping.

For the next 18 minutes, the Oilmen defended their lead by crowding the defence while making some incisive counter attacks. The bank team made few disjointed efforts but failed to make any impression on the rival defenders.

With PSB's defeat both last year's winner Indian Airlines and runners up are out of contention.

Namdhari XI, meanwhile, staged a fine rally after trailing 0-1 for 32 minutes to account for Karnataka XI and book a semifinal berth.

Karnataka surged ahead in the 21st minute through Dinesh and held on to the lead till the 53rd minute before Gurpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to draw parity.

Five minutes later Anmolak Singh cut through the tentative Karnataka defence to put his side ahead (2-1) and two minutes before the final whistle, Gurpreet Singh scored his second and team's third goal when he made no mistake in converting a stroke (3-1).

UNI HSB AY DB1826

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