IOCL, AI in summit clash

Hockey

IOCL, AI in summit clash

A host of missed opportunities by Army XI, combined with a commendable performance by Gagandeep Singh, helped Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) beat the armymen 2-1 in the final league encounter of the inaugural All-India Bengaluru Cup hockey tournament at the KSHA stadium here on Thursday.

Needing a win to qualify for Friday’s final, Army XI put up a brave performance before bowing out to the stalwarts of Indian hockey in a closely fought encounter.As a result, Air India qualified for the final.

It was as early as the seventh minute that IOCL drew the first blood, Jaswinder Singh slotting home the opener after Gagandeep set him up with a juicy through ball from the right flank.

Egged on by the ensuing crowd dancing to the tunes of Army’s bagpiper band, Army XI came close to finding the back of the net time and again only to be denied by the resilient IOCL defenders.

In the 26th minute, IOCL made it 2-0 as Gagandeep was once again in thick of action. A cheeky deflection about 25 meters from the goal setting up Thimanna who made no mistake in getting past keeper Nejumuddin to score his first goal of the tournament.Not detered by the onslaught of IOCL’s attack, Army XI came back strongly in the 28th minute as Binay Bhengra’s reverse hit found the target beating keeper Devesh Chauhan; Grupreet Singh’s lob from the half line proving instrumental in the build up.

The best chance in the second period came IOCL’s Roshan Minz’s way in the 48th minute. Minz failed to get past the in-form Army keeper, Nejumuddin, after captain Deepak Thakur set him up displaying a glimpse of his much talked about stick work.

With the time ticking, Army XI tried to up the ante by throwing more men into the attack. But, relying on a tried and tested 4-3-1-2 formation, IOCL saw off any last minute attempt to maintain a clean record in the competition. 


Results: Men: IOCL: 2 (Jaswinder Singh 7th, Thimanna 26th) bt Army XI: 1 (Binay Bhengra 28th).

Women: MP Academy: 2 (Karishma Singh 11th, Shivani Singh 35th) bt Haryana: 0; Western Railway: 16 (Pooja Ravi 2nd, 11th, Jaswinder Kaur 6th, Rujita Kumar 15th, Pinky Devi 18th, 57th, Manjit Kaur 21st, 43rd; Navneet Kaur 23rd, 52nd, 64th, 69th, Anupa Bala 45th, 47th, 65th, 66th) bt Tamil Nadu XI: 0.

Friday’s fixtures: Women’s final (4:00 pm): Haryana vs MP Academy. 

Men’s final (6:00 pm): Indian Oil Corporation Ltd vs Air India.

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