Punjab post huge win
Akashdeep hammers five goals; Easy for Haryana
Punjab made mincemeat of a hapless Chhattisgarh to register a convincing 12-0 victory in the second Hockey India Senior National men’s championship at the KSHA stadium here on Monday.
On the back of a five-goal effort from Akashdeep Singh, Punjab pocketed their second successive win in Group C, having trounced Jammu & Kashmir 12-1 in their opening encounter on Sunday.
Apart from Akashdeep (10th, 41st, 50th, 52nd, 69th), Sarvanjit Singh (17th, 26th, 62nd) netted three goals, Ravipal Singh (11th, 23rd) scored a brace and Gurjinder Singh (2nd PC) and Talwinder Singh (59th) found the target once each.
Under the scorching morning sun, the formidable Punjab team found the target at regular intervals, warming up for the bigger challenges ahead. Gurjinder started the goal glut with a drag-flick in the second minute before Akashdeep came up with a solo effort to breach the defence of Chhattisgarh goalkeeper Mrinal Choubey to make it 2-0.
With quick passing and excellent stick work, Punjab made the life difficult for their rivals, who hardly had the possession. Ravipal, who tapped in a pass from Akashdeep before getting the better of Choubey in a one-on-one, and Sarvanjith, who sounded the board twice with powerful hits, helped Punjab go for the lemon break with half-a-dozen goals in their kitty.
Similar situation prevailed in the second half too but for some stunning saves from Choubey the margin would have been more. The Chhattisgarh custodian thwarted three penalty corners and saved a couple of close range attempts from Ravipal and Akashdeep.
Among the six goals in the second essay, Talwinder’s scoop over an advancing Choubey stood out for its perfect execution. Meanwhile, with Arunachal Pradesh opting out of the tournament, Pool C became a four-team affair.
Results:† Pool A: Haryana: 8 (Didar Singh 4th PS, 45th, Arjun Antil 34th, Bharath Chikara 49th, Naveen Antil 51st, Gagandeer Singh 59th, Karamjit Singh 65th, Sardar Singh 70th PC) bt Bengal: 0; Bhopal: 2 (Affan Yousuf 22th, 63rd) bt Maharashtra: 1 (Narad Bahadur 44th).
Pool C: Punjab: 12 (Gurjinder Singh 2nd PC, Akashdeep Singh 10th, 41st, 50th, 52nd, 69th, Ravipal Singh 11th, 23rd, Sarvanjit Singh 17th, 26th, 62nd, Talwinder Singh 59th) bt Chhattisgarh: 0.
Pool E: Air India: 9 (Sameer Dad 22nd, 47th, Prabodh Tirkey 29th, Sandeep Singh 34th, OG 37th, Pradhan Somanna 44th, Birendra Lakra 56th, Arjun Halappa 67th, VS Vinay 69th) bt Rajasthan 0; Madhya Pradesh: 9 (Shakir Hussain 6th PC, Arman Qureshi 12th, Nilakanth Sharma 14th, 47th, Sarfaraz Khan 24th, Raju Singh 51st, Nizamuddin Mohammed 56th, Amit Kumar Singh 57th, Vikas Choudhary 64th) bt Nagaland: 2 (Keduneizo 17th, Mohd Asif 66th PS). Pool G: Odisha: 17 (Amon Mirash Tirkey 11th, Sunil Toppo 12th, 31st, 32nd, John J Toppno 18th PC, Ignacius Toppo 29th, Deepak Kullu 30th, 32nd, Mikhal Barla 33rd, 46th, Aijub Ekka 37th, 40th, David Minz 43rd, Stanli V Minz 48th PC, Bipin Kerketta 49th, 63rd, Dilip Toppo 70th) bt Kerala: 0.
Pool G: Tamil Nadu: 25 (Damu 6th, 28th, 30th, 49th, Rupinder Pal Singh 11th PC, 27th PC, 56th PC, 69th PC, 58th, Gunasekar 13th, Siva Mani 16th, Kannan 19th, 46th, 51st, 63rd, 68th, V Raja 25th, 40th, Vinod Rayer 33rd, 47th, 55th, Arun Stalin 36th, Suresh Kumar 54th, Manoj 65th, Lakshman Karan 70th) bt Gujarat: 1 (Ravendra Kumar 62nd).
Matches today: At KSHA stadium: Maharashtra vs Bengal (8.30am); Madhya Pradesh vs Rajasthan (10.00am); Air India vs Nagaland (11.30am); Haryana vs Puducherry (2.30pm); Karnataka vs Himachal Pradesh (4.00pm).
At MEG grounds: Services vs Chhattisgarh (7.00am); Tamil Nadu vs Kerala (8.30am); Uttarakhand vs Goa (10.00am); Andhra Pradesh vs Delhi (11.30am); Odisha vs Gujarat (2.30pm); Chandigarh vs Sashastra Seema Bal (4.00pm).