Jharkhand and Karnataka secured victories in their final group games to complete an expected quarterfinal line-up for the second Hockey India senior National championship here on Saturday.
Jharkhand thrashed Sashastra Seema Bal 9-1 to advance from Pool D while the host recovered from a brief stutter to defeat Andhra Pradesh 5-1 in Pool B.
The results confirmed a list of anticipated quarterfinal fixtures for Sunday: Karnataka takes on an in-form Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand — in a clash of equals — will meet Air India, Haryana faces Manipur and Punjab Railways.
For Jharkhand, even a draw would have been enough, but SSB was shown little mercy. After India international Roshan Minz netted the opener in the 9th minute, Ajitesh Roy scored twice in the space of three minutes to put Jharkhand 3-0 up with only half of the first period gone.
SSB pulled one back through Joychandra Singh but it was a minor aberration.
The floodgates were blown open in the second half — Ajitesh helped himself to two more, Diwakar Ram converted two penalty corners, while Anil Xaxa and John Minz also got onto the scoresheet.
Karnataka’s win was much less straightforward. After captain V.R. Raghunath’s early opener, Nikin Thimmaiah and Mohan Muthanna missed chances in front of goal. Vikram Kanth did double the lead on 21 minutes, but the home side’s profligacy would come back to bother it.
Sampath Kumar converted a penalty stroke as Andhra Pradesh slowly grew in confidence. Put under pressure, Karnataka made mistakes at the back, giving the ball away too often.
The inefficiency in front of goal, though, disappeared to some extent in the second half as M.K. Mudappa, Nitin Thimmaiah and S.K. Uthappa all found the net.
Worries were eased temporarily but a stronger test awaits on Sunday.
Pool D: Jharkhand 9 (Roshan Minz 9, Ajitesh Roy 15, 18, 41, 47, Diwakar Ram 37, 57, Anil Xaxa 46, John Minz 60) bt SSB 1 (Joychandra Singh 19); Chandigarh 7 (Shahnawaz Alam 27, 68, Lakhwinder Singh 9, Raminder Singh 16, Devender Singh 18, Lovedeep 53, Kulbhushan Vashisht 58) bt Uttarakhand 1 (Maheshwar Negi 67).
Pool F: Karnataka 5 (V.R. Raghunath 11, Vikram Kanth 21, M.K. Mudappa 43, Nitin Thimmaiah 48, S.K. Uthappa 51) bt Andhra Pradesh 1 (Sampath Kumar 23); Himachal Pradesh 18 (Siddharth Shanker 3, 11, 20, 21, Prashant Kalsh 36, 38, 60, 63, Sarbjeet Singh 30, 59, Rockey Lochab 44, 61, Rajesh Kumar 49, Pawan Bassi 16, Hatinder Singh 23, Lakhvir Singh 34, Amit Lochab 41, Harpreet Bansal 69) bt Mizoram 1 (Lalruatfela Zota 55).