Captain Deepak Beijwad’s brace helped Karnataka beat Delhi 5-2 in a Pool ‘A’ encounter and advance to the semifinals of the Alchemist Federation Cup hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here on Friday.
Karnataka, which topped Pool ‘A,’ will meet Uttar Pradesh, while Tamil Nadu will take on Pool ‘B’ leader Punjab in the semifinals.
Karnataka banked on its superior midfield, commanded by K.R. Umesh, to perform like a well-oiled unit.
Shankar Patil, who dashed ahead and dispossessed Faraz Khan before beating Delhi goalkeeper Sumit Kumar in a spectacular manner, provided the breakthrough.
Beijwad found the mark off a penalty corner to extend the lead minutes before the half time.
Delhi regrouped to intensify pressure on the Karnataka goal and an unmarked Atuldeep slotted home shortly after resumption. Pardeep Khatri drew parity following a swift counter-attack.
Beijwad launched a clean drag-flick as Karnataka again grabbed the lead.
It was followed by some fine combinations upfront as J.P. Kusha and man-of-the-match Bijju Yirkal took it beyond Delhi’s reach.
Delhi made some good efforts and was rewarded with an ‘own goal’ in its favour.
Haryana fought back to beat Manipur 5-3 in an inconsequential Pool ‘B’ match.
Pool A: Karnataka 5 (Deepak Beijawad 2, Shankar Patil, J.P. Kusha, Bijju Yirkal) bt Delhi 3 (Atuldeep, Pardeep Khatri, own goal);
Pool B: Haryana 5 (Harish 2, own goal, Mukesh Dalal, Amrit Chatha) bt Manipur 3 (K. Debeshor 3). — Principal Correspondent