Sr National Hockey: Rupinder's brace helps Hockey Punjab reach last four
Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Rupinder Pal Singh scored a brace of goals as two-time champions Hockey Punjab reached the semi-finals with a hard-fought win in the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Saturday
Pune, Dec 18 (IANS) Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Rupinder Pal Singh scored a brace of goals as two-time champions Hockey Punjab reached the semi-finals with a hard-fought win in the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Saturday.
In the first quarter-final, Punjab left it late to down a gritty Hockey Chandigarh 2-1 with both goals scored by the experienced Rupinder.
In other matches, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh moved into the last-four stage with gritty wins.
After a goalless first half and the third quarter, Hockey Punjab broke the deadlock off a powerfully taken penalty corner by Rupinder Pal Singh (46th) that deflected off a defender into the roof of the goal.
Chandigarh levelled scores four minutes later when Arshdeep Singh (50th) deflected the ball into the Punjab goal 1-1.
Three minutes later, Rupinder's low drag-flick beat Chandigarh goalkeeper Jashandeep Singh with pace, which turned out to be the winner.
Later, Hockey Bengal and Hockey Karnataka were locked in an intense battle before the South team won 3-2 through a late winner by Ali Ansar A.M (58th) off a penalty corner.
Bengal was first to go 1-0 through Alsem Lakra (9th) which was levelled out by Karnataka's Mohd. Raheel (21st) to make it 1-1.
Harish Mutagar (30th) then put Karnataka ahead for the first time converting a penalty corner, before Bengal pulled level via Abhishek Pratap Singh (40th) off a penalty corner.
In the third quarter-final, Uttar Pradesh Hockey forced out a 2-1 win over Hockey Haryana. Uttar Pradesh Hockey took the lead through Mohammad Amir Khan (12th) which was cancelled by Haryana's Mandeep (13th) to make it 1-1.
In the second quarter, Uttar Pradesh scored via Mohd. Sadiq (25th), that turned out to be the match-winner. Uttar Pradesh beat Hockey Haryana who boasted four India Junior World Cuppers.
Hockey Punjab: 2 (Rupinder Pal Singh 46th, 53rd) bt Hockey Chandigarh: 1 (Arshdeep Singh 50th)
Hockey Karnataka: 3 (Mohd. Raheel 21st, Harish Mutagar 30th, Ali Ansar A.M 58th) bt Hockey Bengal: 2 (Alsem Lakra 9th, Abhishek Pratap Singh 40th). HT: 2-1
Uttar Pradesh Hockey: 2 (Mohammad Amir Khan 12th; Mohd. Sadiq 25th) bt Hockey Haryana: 1 (Mandeep 13th)