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India Dark Blues struggle
October 01, 2005 20:37 IST
India Juniors put up a brave fight while narrowly going down to power-packed India Dark Blues in the 16th Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament, which kicked off in Delhi on Saturday.
Harpal Singh scored the lone goal of the match off a penalty-corner in the 12th minute of the second half.
Studded with Olympians and experienced players like Viren Rasquinha, Ignace Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Devinder Pal Singh and Arjun Halappa, the India Dark Blues miserably failed to convert as many as seven penalty-corners out of the eight they earned en route to their 1-0 win.
On the other hand, the juniors thwarted almost every attempt of the senior side by posing a rock-solid defence. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh was outstanding, foiling Dark Blues, who wasted five penalty-corners in the first half.
The flamboyant goalkeeper was adjudged man-of-the-match.
In the inaugural match of the tournament, India Light Blues outplayed India Under-18, winning 7-2.
It was a similar story with the Light Blues, playing with many internationals including Tushar Khandekar, Prabodh Tirkey, William Xalxo, Vivek Gupta, as they reeled under pressure in the first session, with the two teams level at 2-2 at the break.
Khandekar, who sounded the board twice, was declared the man-of-the-match. Pune-based Dhananjay Mahadik scored three goals for Light Blues.
Birender Lakra and Vivek Gupta scored the other two goals.
Vikramjit Singh struck twice for the under-18 team.
Tomorrow, Malaysian outfit Telekom Malaysia will take on India Under-18 while Pakistani side Youngster Hockey Club, Lahore, meet India Light Blues.