IOCL win big again

IOCL win big again

Despite not enjoying a great day in the office, drag-flicker VR Raghunath once again led IOCL’s goal rush with a brace while Arjun Antil, Roshan Minz and Vikramkanth each slotted one apiece as the former champions cruised past Army Green without much problem at the KSHA stadium.

The fifth victory in as many matches propelled IOCL to 15 points and they now share the top spot with the other two favourites Air India and Bharath Petroleum Corporation Limited, only goal difference separating the trio.

With a clutch of India internationals in their ranks, IOCL were by far the better team on paper and the gulf was evident on the pitch too. The Inderjit Singh-led team was dominant in all departments of the game, overpowering their opponents with utmost ease.

They created chances at will, constantly forcing Army Green to be on the defensive. Their only area of concern was a relatively poor day for their penalty corner specialist Raghunath. Boasting of a wonderful conversion rate in this tournament that has seen him slam two trebles, the leading goal scorer could only fire twice from nine chances.

After missing out on his first attempt in the seventh minute, Raghunath was on target a minute later with his second penalty corner try that put IOCL 1-0 ahead. After a 20-minute lull, Antil made it 2-0 in the 29 minute, receiving a fine pass from Gaganjeet Jr before hitting it sharply past Army Green goalkeeper Kalram.

Hardworking Roshan Minz reaped rewards for his effort with a brilliant turn-and-shoot goal two minutes into the second half while defender Vikramkanth (47th) and Raghunath (66th) then wrapped up a lop-sided victory.

Results: BPCL: 4 (Hari Prasad 7th, 46th, 63rd, Tushar Khandkar 52nd) bt ASC: 1 (AM Chittiappa 9th PC); SAI: 2 (Uthappa SK 26th, Deepak Bijwad 27th PC) bt MLI: 1 (Roshan B 46th PC); IOCL: 5 (VR Raghunath 8th PC, 66th PC, Arjun Antil 29th, Roshan Minz 37th, Vikramkanth 43rd PC) bt Army Green: 0; Air India: 5 (Birendra Lakra 12th, 42nd, Arjun Halappa 27th, Shivendra Singh 46th, 57th) bt Fortis: 3 (Diwakar Ram 46th, Tyron Periera 52nd, Gurjinder Singh 67th).