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Defending champions Punjab and Sind Bank scored 3-1 victory over Services, Air India beat Mumbai by a solitary goal and Indian Oil Corporation [Get Quote] prevailed over gutsy Tamil Nadu by 2-1 in the Super League matches of the Dainik Bhaskar-Tracer 62nd National Hockey Championship in Jalandhar on Saturday.
Punjab and Sind Bank scored through Kulwinder Singh (10th, 24th minutes) and Rajwinder Singh (26th), while A K Majhi reduced the margin for Services with a field goal in the 57th minute.
A last-minute field goal by Olympian Prabhjot Singh helped star-studded Indian Oil Corporation prevail over a never-say-die Tamil Nadu.
Osaf ur Rehman's goal enabled Air India collect full points against Mumbai.
Playing on home ground, Punjab and Sind Bank kept the ball in possession for a better part of the game. They opened their account in the 10th minute when Mandeep Singh sent a good cross into the semi-circle from the left flank and Kulwinder Singh scored with a touch in smooth action.
The bankmen, having a number of internationals, including Baljit Singh Saini and Baljit Singh Chandi, in their ranks, struck again in the 24th minute. This time Kulwinder scored with an indirect penalty-corner.
Two minutes later, Rajwinder got a field goal after foxing Services goalkeeper T R Rao.
The winners led 3-0 at half time.
The second session saw PSB field their young players and rest some seniors for the next Super League fixture against Chandigarh. Though they enjoyed territorial supremacy in this session Services were able to reduce the margin through AK Majhi in the 51th minute.
PSB were awarded penalty-corners in the 8th, 24th, 40th and 61st minutes, of which they converted only one.
Services wasted all the penalty-corners they forced in the 30th, 31st and 43rd minute.
Tamil Nadu, not overawed by the big names, including Olympians Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh and goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan in the IOC line-up, put up good resistance.
It was only a last-minute goal by Prabhjot Singh that denied them the day's honours.
Air India and Mumbai were evenly matched. The all-important goal was scored in the 18th minute by Osaf Ur Rehman, who guided the ball into the Mumbai goal after Bernard Lugun had done the spadework.
Bernard got possession of the ball near the centre line and dodged past two Mumbai defenders before sending a measured pass from the left. Rehman made no mistake with the supply.
Tomorrow's fixtures: Punjab vs Namdharis; Railways vs Indian Oil; PSB vs Chandigarh.
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