Mumbai to meet Punjab in hockey title clash

Mumbai to meet Punjab in hockey title clash

Mumbai, who led 4-0 at the half-way stage of the one-sided semi-final, would meet Punjab in the final tomorrow at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium.

Punjab recorded a 2-1 victory over Karnataka in the other semi-final in which they led 2-0 at the breather.

The goal-getters for Mumbai in their resounding victory over Rajasthan were Nikhil Pujary (3), Jarryd Nunes (2), Ganendrajt Ranjit, Anup Valmiki and Moses Pullanthara, who scored a goal each.

In the Punjab-Karnataka clash, the former took a 2-0 lead through goals from Karan Kumar, off a penalty corner, and Navraj Singh late in the first half.

Karnataka fought back well in the second half to reduce the margin through S A Basavaraj in the 53rd minute and then missed quite a few gilt-edged chances to make their exit.

Mumbai were too good for their rivals. In fact, they forced six penalty corners, five of which were squandered, and restricted their rivals to just fleeting glimpses of their own goal area.

The hosts combined beautifully to rip apart the rival defence without trouble and the pick of the lot were Pujary, Valmiki and Nunes. A centre from the right was deflected in from close by Ranjit to open the Mumbai account before Nunes made it 2-0 following a splendid pass by Pujary, who then sounded the board off a centre from the left.
Pujary scored his second goal off fourth penalty corner to help Mumbai take a 4-0 lead at half time.

Crossing over, Nunes scooped an Anup Valmiki pass into the goal to make it 5-0 early in the half.

Mumbai kept the pressure and scored three times more through Valmiki, Pujary and Pullanthara before they let in their rivals into their territory to earn their lone penalty corner which was wasted.

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