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Punjab and Sind Bank in last four
March 08, 2004 20:56 IST
A ten-strong Punjab and Sind Bank struck once in each half to sideline a spirited Namdhari XI by two goals to nil in a quarter-final match of the 42nd Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, sponsored by Union Bank, Punjab National Bank and State Bank, at the BHA-Mahindra Stadium, in Mumbai on Monday.
P&SB were reduced to ten men when umpire Claudius de Sales showed the red card to full back Sharanjit Singh, who in a fit of anger needlessly whacked Namdhari forward Didar Singh (Sr) in the 22nd minute.
That silly act prompted the players and the managers of the two teams to engage in a brief skirmish during which umpire de Sales was hurt. Things could have turned ugly had tournament director Peter Menezes not intervened and asserted his authority over the warring players. Menezes, with his forthright approach, ensured that things were brought under control. He then sternly cautioned both the managers and ordered them to maintain disciple among the team members. When play resumed after a halt of over five minutes the two captains Baljit Singh Chandi of PSB and Anmolak Singh of Namdhari were both given temporary suspensions for not being able to ensure discipline among the players.
P&SB, despite playing with a man short, put up doughty display and even managed to score an insurance goal in the 57th minute to come out with a creditable victory and a passage to the semi-finals.
P&SB played a tactical game against Namdhari XI, who had recorded impressive victories in their run-up to the quarter-finals stage. The P&SB defence, with some tight marking, did not permit the Namdhari forwards the space and liberty to penetrate into their territory. They blunted the Namdhari attack as they cut off the supply route from the midfielder to the forwardline.
Namdhari's left-half Gurpreet Singh, who with his powerful slap drives, was instrumental in his forwards scoring a number of goals proved to be ineffective against the P&SB defence.
Against the run of play P&SB forged ahead in the 12th minute. Ravi Pal unmarked on the left side of the Namdhari striking circle trapped Davinder Singh's free-hit from just outside the circle and in a flash flicked past goalkeeper Swinder Singh. Besides the goal, Sharanjit's crazy moment, and the brief altercation there was not much action in the first half.
P&SB could have sealed the match but they missed a couple of easy chances in the second half.
In the 52nd minute Chandi hit straight into the pads of goalkeeper Swinder Singh and later Ravi Pal fired wide from close.
P&SB finally doubled their lead when Rajwinder Singh deflected home Sandeep Singh's powerful free-hit from the edge of the semi-circle in the 57th minute.
Namdhari tried the best to find a goal in the remaining period but all their efforts proved in vain.
Earlier, Western Railway rallied strongly before they edged out Border Security Force 5-3 via the tie-breaker after the teams were locked 2-2 at the end of normal time.
For Western, Shivendra Singh and Gurusev Singh scored during regulation period while for BSF Habil Topno got both the goals.
In the tie-breaker, Western converted through Gurusev Singh, Shivendra Singh and I. S. Negi, while only Davinder Singh managed to find success for the losers.
P&SB will take on the winners of quarter-final match to be played between Indian Airlines and Central Railway on Tuesday.