Coach factories get past Railway zones

NEW DELHI JAN. 28. Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, and Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, lived on the edge before winning their quarterfinal ties through tie-breakers, in the 63rd all-India men's Railway hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here on Tuesday.

ICF played brilliant hockey _ its forward Rajendra Prasad deserved a few goals against his name _ but it was one of those days when victory would come via tie-breaker.

Dinakaran slotted in ICF's fourth penalty stroke in a row complementing captain and goal-keeper Alex David's good work to give his team a 4-1 win against North-Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur. Both teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after regulation time and extra-time. Rajendra Prasad rightly decided to take the first stroke and made no mistakes. North-Eastern equalised through Mohammed Kaleem, but it lost its way when S. Rahaman put it wide.

The men from Gorakhpur ran out of luck when David brilliantly saved Deepak Gupta's scoop. While David impressed under the bar, ICF kept scoring through Yuvaraj and Hayath before Dinakaran struck the winner.

In a fast-paced match dished out by both teams, ICF had more chances but North-Eastern's defence came good at crucial moments. In the first minute, Ramesh Babu and Vinod Kumar created a good chance for ICF, but North-Eastern goal-keeper H. Bhakhuni foiled the attempt.

Even though an international umpire, Balwinder Singh of Northern Railway, was doing duty, there were a few debatable decisions, particularly against ICF. Vinod Kumar was yellow-carded for seemingly no fault of his. The forward moved up fast from the left flank but he slipped while taking the shot. Since no one was around him, he recovered and had another try at the ball and earned the yellow card.

The ICF attack was better organised but the first goal came in North-Eastern's favour. Rahman earned a penalty corner in the 21st minute and his straight drive was nicely stopped just at the line by Raj Kumar, but S. Minz pushed in the ball which was in play.

ICF equalised through a spectacular running goal by Rajendran. He moved ahead from the right and in the same flow took a hard drive at the post in the 32nd minute. Madan Singh seemed to touch the ball, but it was awarded to Rajendran.

Earlier, RCF defeated South-Central Railway 4-2 in the tie-breaker after they were tied 1-1 after extra-time. RCF took the half-time lead through Lalit Ekka in the 27th minute. SCR levelled through I. Minz in the 46th minute.

In the tie-breaker, Sabal Kumar Barla, Satwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Anuranjan Tete scored for RCF. For SCR I. Minz and Paul Moses messed up their strokes.

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