Karnataka squandered a two-goal advantage and slipped to a draw for the second consecutive match in the 64th senior National hockey championship, for the Rangaswamy Cup, here.
The host, which surrendered a 2-0 lead against Mumbai in its opening match, failed to hold on to a 3-1 advantage against Uttar Pradesh at the KSHA Stadium on Thursday.
Yirkal makes amends
Karnataka took the lead in the 17th minute off a penalty corner. Bijju Yirkal, who failed to trap the push, made amends by slamming home after the ball was passed back to him.
Six minutes later, Imran Khan restored parity with a stunning reverse-flick from just inside the ‘D’. A goalmouth scramble gave Karnataka a 2-1 lead and the scoreline quickly changed to 3-1 after captain Deepak Bejiwad neatly converted a penalty stroke.
Sixteen minutes from the hooter, Uttar Pradesh’s best player — Diwakar Ram — sparked hopes of a comeback by clinically executing a penalty corner. Four minutes later, a botched penalty corner attempt resulted in Imran Khan sending the ball across goal with a powerful reverse-flick. Diwakar timed his slide well to score the equaliser and it was a feeling of deja vu for the Karnataka team.
Punjab beats Mumbai
Earlier, Punjab held off a stubborn Mumbai team to post a 3-1 victory in its first match of the championship.
After Punjab took a two-goal lead, Jayanta Meitei pulled one back for Mumbai.
Late in the match, Mumbai was awarded three successive penalty corners, but fumbled all three attempts.
This proved costly, as Ranjit Singh sealed the win for Punjab with just a minute to go for the hooter.
Punjab 3 (Ranjit Singh 2, Gurjeet Singh) bt Mumbai 1 (Jayanta Meitei).
Karnataka 3 (Bijju Yirkal 2, Deepak Bejiwad) drew with Uttar Pradesh 3 (Diwakar Ram 2, Imran Khan).