Southern Railway scripted a convincing 3-0 win over SAI in the pre-quarterfinals of the IOB-Syed Ahmed Memorial hockey tournament on Wednesday. Things meandered along in the first session. While Southern Railway dominated possession, it didn’t create many chances. The team squandered three penalty corners that came its way.

On the other hand, SAI could have opened its account with a bit of luck. Hassan Basha made a sinuous run on the counter before passing the ball to Rajesh Kannan. The latter’s shot was fended away by Southern Railway ’keeper M.G. Suresh.

Basha seized another opportunity on the break but Suresh came up with a good save again.

The second half unfolded in stark contrast as Southern Railway took the lead in the third minute of the period.

The impressive Kamalakannan found the goal after he dodged a couple of defenders. He missed a brace by a whisker after his deft flick ricocheted off the post. Soon after, the Railway side more than made up for its profligacy in converting penalty corners.

N. Suresh cashed in twice on the short corner: first in the 47th minute and then in the 51st. Kamalakannan was named man-of-the-match.

Excise stuns IOB

Earlier, in another pre-quarterfinal encounter, Sathya Rajan struck twice to help Central Excise stun holder and three-time champion Indian Overseas Bank 4-2. Aravind of Central Excise was adjudged man-of-the-match.

The results (pre-quarterfinals):

Southern Railway 3 (Kamalakannan, N. Suresh 2) bt SAI 0.

Central Excise 4 (Stephen Babu, Sathya Rajan 2, Merwyn Joy) bt IOB 2 (Shanmugam, D.S. Darshan). — Sports Reporter

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