Railways qualify for semis, to play IOC

In another match, Punjab National Bank defeated Hockey India Juniors 2-0 today to set up a semifinal clash against Oil and Natural Gas Commission.With the completition group fixtures today in the 10-team tournament, the semifinals will be played on Saturday after a day's rest.

The match between Railways and Namdhari turned out to be an interesting affair with both the teams displaying attacking hockey.

Namdhari, who had to win by a 2-0 margin to progress to the last four stage, were more opportunistic as Gurmeet Singh found the mark in the opening minute of the match.
But Railways equalised soon in the 11th through Jayakaran.

Namdhari worked tirelessly to gain the upper hand, only to indulge in rough tackles and in the process left plenty of holes in their own citadel.However, they kept up the pressure and two minutes before the break, Balwinder Singh slotted home almost from a solo effort to put Namdhari 2-1 up.

After the change of ends, a regrouped Railways stepped up their attack and tightened their defence.Their efforts bore fruit when seasoned Innocent Kulu converted a penalty corner in the 46th minute to draw parity.

From there on, Railways, needing just a draw to progress, displayed a solid game to deny Namdhari any chance of scoring.In the first match of the day, there was lot of expectations from Hockey India colts but they disappointed the assembled crowd with their mediocre display.

On other hand, PNB dominated the midfield proceedings which helped their strikers to make inroads into the rival citadel.The Bankmen sounded the board through Bruno Logun and then Satpal Singh converted a penalty corner in the 33rd minute to give them a 2-0 lead.

Though the Colts dished out a better performance in the second half, the Bankmen brought in their experience to thwart any risk to their goal.Meanwhile, IOC thrashed BPCL 5-1 in an inconsequential Group B match to maintain a clean slate in the tournament so far.

Roshan Minz scored two goals for IOC, while Hamsa Mujitha, Ramachandran Raghunath and Deepak Thakur netted a piece each.For BPCL, Jarnail Singh scored the consolation goal

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