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IOC, PSB to clash in final
March 29, 2005 20:11 IST
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) grounded defending champions Indian Airlines 4-1 to set up a title clash with Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) in the 61st Senior National Hockey Championship for the Major Rangaswamy Cup in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
PSB rallied from one goal down to beat Services 2-1 at the Gachibowli Hockey Complex for a place in the final. Chandrasekhar Xalxo (2nd minute) scored for Services before Navpreet Singh netted in the 43rd and 55th minute to give PSB a hard-fought win.
Deepak Thakur (2nd, 15th), and Prabjot Singh (5th and 55th) struck for IOC while Dhanraj Pillay netted the lone goal for Indian Airlines in the 52nd minute.
Airlines were off-colour from the beginning as Thakur put IOC ahead in the third minute leaving the defending champions dumbfound.
Prabhjot and Thakur struck in quick succession to put pressure on the Arjun Hallappa-led Airlines team which was trailing 0-3 at one stage of the match.
Airlines team struggled for control and paid for missing out on scoring opportunities. They missed as many as 10 penalty corners.
Halappa also failed to covert a penalty stroke which was awarded after IOC player Sunil Yadav obstructed a goal bound ball.
In the second half, veteran Pillay converted a short corner to take the tally to 1-3 but Prabjhot struck again as IOC ended with a 4-1 verdict in their favour. In the other match, Xalxo made no mistake as his drag flick went past the PSB custodian and Services took an early lead.
PSB players did not give up but were constantly on the move penetrating into the Services citadel with Perminder Singh, Ravi Paul and Ajit Pal Singh excelling in their attacking tactics.
PSB players did miss a couple of chances but their pace was good and Services defence could hardly match their attack. The aggressive play of PSB provided them a penalty corner in the second half after they were trailing 0-1 at the breather.
Navpreet Singh had to put in very little effort to flick the ball into the net and draw parity. With the scores level the two teams made valiant bids at the danger zone and in the process PSB earned one more short corner.
It was Navpreet Singh again who found the mark and netted the winner to take PSB into the final.
The IOC-PSB final will be played tomorrow after the losing semi-finalists Airlines and Services play for the bronze.
Results: (Semi-finals) Indian Oil beat Indian Airlines 4-1, Punjab and Sind Bank beat Services 2-1.