When the umpire awards a penalty corner to Karnataka, the opposition fears the worst. Deepak Bejiwad, once again, put away two attempts to power Karnataka to a 3-1 victory over Jharkhand in the 64th Senior National hockey championship here on Monday.
With six conversions in four matches, Bejiwad has been instrumental in Karnataka’s ascent to the top of the league standings. Two points separate the top-three teams, Karnataka, Mumbai and Punjab, in their fight to reach the final of the Rangaswamy Cup.
The captain, with the aid of Mohammed Naeemuddin and stopper, Bijju Yirkal, scored the first goal in the 21st minute.
Jharkhand’s Deepak Soreng then pulled one back for his team, before N.S. Rajesh put his team ahead with a goal of class.
A pass from Vinayak Bejiwad reached Rajesh, who trapped the ball at the top of the ‘D’. As the goalkeeper strode off his line to cut off the angles, Rajesh neatly executed a lob. It took a few seconds for the ball to enter the goal: the emphasis was on placement, rather than power.
A few minutes later, Bejiwad stepped up to take a penalty corner with his trusted accomplices.
The push, the stop and the shoot played in perfect harmony, and the match was sealed.
The result: Karnataka 3 (Deepak Bejiwad 2, N.S. Rajesh) bt Jharkhand 1 (Deepak Soreng).
Keywords: 64th Senior National hockey championship