Mumbai blank Uttar Pradesh

Defending champions top table

Mumbai blank Uttar Pradesh

Mumbai produced an impressive second-half display to blank Uttar Pradesh 3-0 to reach the top of the standings in the 64th IHF National hockey championship for the Rangaswamy Cup at the KSHA stadium on Sunday.

The defending champions replace hosts Karnataka as the leaders with seven points from four matches while UP remain on four points from three matches.

Laxman Rao (43rd) and Jayanta Meitei (64th) were the scorers for an improving Mumbai outfit while an own goal (61st) added to their tally as well.

The second half contained all the action as Rao, who was struggling a bit on the flanks, eventually found the much needed opening goal for the holders with a solo effort. The right-half weaved his way through a clutch of defenders to beat UP custodian Ashish Mishra in the 43rd minute.

Roshan Keisham got very close to getting his name on the goalscorers list but the shot was blocked away by an alert Imran Khan of UP in the 46th minute.

An own goal was the last thing UP had in their mind but that is exactly what transpired in the 61st minute. Mumbai’s Sankalp Raghav fired a shout from 25 yards out that got a deflection off Manipur custodian K Urun for their second goal.

In the 62nd minute, UP had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit an stay competitve in the match but the Ranjeet Singh-coached side failed to convert a penalty corner that came their way.

Mumbai custodian Sudhir Dixit must be credited for not conceding a single goal just like on this occasion, taking body blows to prevent damage to his side. Jayanta Meitei then sealed the game in Mumbai’s favour with a well-taken drag flick off a penalty corner taken by Victo Singh in the 64th minute.

Results: Punjab: 9 (Simranjit Singh 13th, 17th, 58th, 64th, Ranjit Singh 43rd, 49th, 62nd, Sanjeev Kumar 22nd, Satwinder Singh 37th) bt Manipur: 3 (N Bhaskar 26th, 54th, P Priyokumar 36th); Mumbai: 3 (Laxman Rao 43rd, own goal 61st, Jayanta Meitei 64th) bt Uttar Pradesh: 0.

Monday’s match: Karnataka vs Jharkhand (4.30 pm).

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