Karnataka march into semifinals

Karnataka march into semifinals

 Karnataka scored a convincing 4-2 win over Manipur to storm into the semifinal of the third Hockey India Men’s Senior National Championship on Saturday.

BS Bidappa set Karnataka on course in the quarterfinal clash, slotting home in the 13th minute before Nikkin Thimmaiah made it 2-0 with a goal on the half-hour mark.

Manipur reduced the margin through K Suresh two minutes into the second half but goals from MB Aiyappa (41st) and MG Poonacha (48th) helped Karnataka regain the initiative.

N Gandndrajit struck the second goal for Manipur five minutes from time but Karnataka hardly faced any pressure thereafter, setting up semifinal against defending champions Punjab.

While Punjab blanked Jharkhand 6-0, Air India edged past Railways 5-4 and Haryana defeated Chandigarh 4-1. Air India and Haryana will compete in the first semifinal.

Punjab dominated the proceedings and scored at regular intervals. Deepak Thakur scored two goals for Punjab while Sarvanjit Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Ravi Pal Singh and Inderjeet Singh struck a goal each.

Quarterfinal results: Air India: 5 (Pradhan Somanna 6th, 60th, VS Vinaya 21st, Joga Singh 32nd, Arjun Halappa 35th) bt Railways: 4 (Gagandeep Singh 27th, B Horo 37th, Sanjay Bir 41st, Jasjeet Singh 43th); Haryana: 4 (Mandeep Antil 35th, Shivdeep 37th, Jagwant 47th, Hansraj 48th) bt Chandigarh: 1 (Lakhwinder Singh 12th); Punjab: 6 (Sarvanjit Singh 19th, Gurjinder Singh 26th, Ravi Pal Singh 31st, Inderjeet Singh 32nd, Deepak Thakur 58th, 63rd) bt Jharkhand: 0; Karnataka: 4 (BS Bidappa 13th, Nikkin Thimmaiah 30th, MB Aiyappa 41st, MG Poonacha 48th) bt Manipur: 2 (K Suresh 37th, N Gandndrajit 65th).
Semifinal line-up: Air India vs Haryana; Punjab vs Karnataka.