Inter-University hockey: Pune stun VBSP in shoot-out, to meet Sambalpur in final
Savitribai Phule Pune University made history on Friday by making it to their maiden final in the SNBP-28th Nehru All-India Inter-University Hockey Tournament (Inter-Zonal Final), setting up a clash with Sambalpur University at the Major Dhyan Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar, Pimpri on Saturday.
Pune, March 18 (IANS) Savitribai Phule Pune University made history on Friday by making it to their maiden final in the SNBP-28th Nehru All-India Inter-University Hockey Tournament (Inter-Zonal Final), setting up a clash with Sambalpur University at the Major Dhyan Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar, Pimpri on Saturday.
In the semi-finals on Friday, Pune University staged a brilliant comeback to down Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal (VBSP) University, Jaunpur 4-3 via the shootout after playing out an exciting 2-2 draw.
Victory for Pune University meant a first for them in 28 years of the competition and they also became only the second West Zone team to make the final. Earlier, Jawaharlal Nehru PG College Bhopal had made it to the finals on four occasions (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013) and emerged champions in 2013.
Pune University began on the backfoot as VBSP University began attacking early. However, after holding out, Pune University conceded a goal when Vejendra Singh (17th) converted a penalty corner.
At half-time, VBSP University held on to the lead.
In the second half, Amit Yadav (36th) doubled the lead and made it 2-0 for VBSP.
Pune did not give up and reduced the margin via Venkatesh Kenche (40th), who scored from a direct penalty-corner that beat goalkeeper Prateek Nigam to make it 2-1.
Stepping up their game, Pune University's Yogesh Borkar had a golden chance to level but missed the opportunity.
On the other end, Pune survived a scare as Divyansh Shakti Verma, with just the goalkeeper Shivaji Gaikwad ahead, missed an opportunity from close.
Pune University equalised through Rohan Patil (51st) off a penalty corner to make it 2-2.
In the shoot-out, Pune University had Taleb Shah, Harish Shindgi, Ganesh Patil, Raies Mujawar converting their attempts, while VBSP University had Anuj Singh, Arun Sahani, Vejendra Singh score.
For Pune University, Romesh Pillay, who was first to attempt in the shoot-out, missed, while Sakib Mewati and captain Uttam Singh missed for VBSP University.
Later, Sambalpur University downed Lovely Professional University 3-2 in a match that saw all five goals scored in the first half.
Sambalpur University had Nabin Kujur (3rd) give them the lead, converting a penalty corner, which later was increased by Matiyas Dang (25th, 26th) to lead 3-0. Lovely University pulled two goals back through Balkar Singh (28th) and Araijeet Singh (30th) to end the first half, which turned out to be the result at the end.
Savitribai Phule Pune University: 2 (Venkatesh Kenche 40th, Rohan Patil 51st) bt Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal (VBSP) University, Jaunpur 2 (Vejendra Singh 17th, Amit Yadav 36th; Anuj Singh, Arun Sahani, Vejendra Singh) 4-3 via a shoot-out. HT: 1-0
Sambalpur University, Sambalpur 3 (Nabin Kujur 3rd, Matiyas Dang 25th, 26th) bt Lovely Professional University Phagwara 2 (Balkar Singh 28th, Araijeet Singh 30th). HT: 2-2.