Hockey

MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup: PNB accounts for Indian Navy

Well done: PNB’s Sukhjeet Singh gets a pat after scoring the team’s fourth goal against Indian Navy.

Well done: PNB’s Sukhjeet Singh gets a pat after scoring the team’s fourth goal against Indian Navy.  

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To meet IOC, which rallied to beat Central Secretariat, in the final

Central Secretariat (CST) scored two goals in the space of two minutes to rattle the defending champion Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for a brief while in the semifinals of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup All-India hockey tournament here on Saturday.

CST threatened to take the match away from IOC after those early goals, but the champion team rallied well to script a 6-3 victory.

In the other semifinal, Punjab National Bank (PNB) blew away Indian Navy in a wonderful exhibition of attacking hockey in the fourth and final quarter to win 4-2.

In the final on Sunday, IOC will take on PNB.

Dharambir Yadav unleashed a stinging forehander after receiving a pass from Sukhjeet Singh in the very first minute. In the next minute, captain Govind Singh Rawat converted off a penalty corner to make it 2-0 for CST.

IOC fought back through Olympians Dharamvir Singh and Deepak Thakur with two goals to draw level. Sahir Mohd’s wonderful run from the right extreme, dribbling past two defenders and scoring, was a fine solo act as CST again went ahead. That goal also forced IOC to replace its ’keeper Pankaj Rajak with J. Chetan.

The complexion of the match changed once IOC’s forwards began to assert themselves. Talwinder Singh tapped one into the net off a cross from the right and Affan Yousuf slammed one into the top of the roof from the top of the circle. Two more strikes in the fourth quarter completed IOC’s tally.

The Navy-PNB match was evenly contested. Easily one of the best teams in the group stages, Navy was completely taken aback by PNB’s aggression in the fourth quarter.

With the score 1-1 till the third quarter, three goals — Gujinder Singh, Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh finding the net — in the final quarter turned the match in PNB’s favour.

The results (semifinals): IOC 6 (Dharamvir Singh 9, Deepak Thakur 14, Talwinder Singh 33, Affan Yousuf 45 & 60, Roshan Minz 55) bt CST 3 (Dharambir Yadav 1, Govind Singh Rawat 2, Sahir Mohd. 17).

PNB 4 (Mandeep Mor 35, Gujinder Singh 50, Abhishek 55, Sukhjeet Singh 56) bt Indian Navy 2 (Jugraj Singh 37 & 57).

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:32:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/mcc-murugappa-gold-cup-pnb-accounts-for-indian-navy/article29363176.ece

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