Indian Oil Corporation scored over Air India on the counter-attacks, winning 5-3 in the 48th Bombay Gold Cup All India Hockey final on Sunday night. S.V. Sunil found the target twice, apart from essaying a stream of crosses across the goalmouth to cap speedy runs on the right flank.
He was named ‘Best Player’ and received a cheque from India coach Terry Walsh on behalf of SJAM (Sports Journalist Association of Mumbai). Deepak Thakur was chosen ‘Player of Tournament’ by organiser MHAL.
Eight goals in the final under floodlights showcased the positive approach, six were field goals and two penalty corner conversions. AI took the lead in the 23rd minute and nosed ahead twice (2-1 and 3-2) before allowing rivals to sneak up on them.
AI’s young striker Arman Qureshi dispatched a slick pass from Sameer Dad for the first goal. India drag flicker V. Raghunath powered home into the roof off the second penalty corner three minutes later for the equaliser.
From then on, forwards on both sides took charge. Sunil, Prabjoth Singh and Deepak Thakur were sharper in the goalmouth, as IOC gained the upper hand in the second half, drawing level at 3-3 and sealing victory with two more goals.
Final result: Indian Oil 5 (V. Raghunath, Deepak Thakur, Prabjoth Singh, S.V. Sunil 2) bt Air India 3 (Arman Qureshi, Prabodh Tirkey, Shivender Singh). Half-time 2-2.