Captain Deepak Thakur's brilliant hat-trick helped Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) rally brilliantly and beat Karnataka XI 4-3 in a quarter-final match of the DCB Presents Aga Khan hockey tournament - 2011, at the Bombay Gymkhana ground, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
In a match of fluctuating fortunes, IOC conceded the lead thrice, but fought back gallantly to pull off victory and seal a place in the last four of the tournament.
Hamza Mujthaba got the other goal for the winners.
Karnataka got their goals through a penalty-stroke conversion by Deepak M R and field goals from Muthana P R and Nitin Thimmaiah.
Karnataka have themselves to blame for the defeat. After leading 2-1, with about 10 minutes remaining for the final whistle, they missed a penalty-stroke and later a couple of easy chances.
Deepak, who converted a 'stroke' in the 15th minute to open the scoring for his team, saw his second attempt from the spot saved by goalkeeper Baljit Singh, who dived to his right to put the ball out.
But six minutes later, Olympian Thakur picked Prabhjot Singh's diagonal pass from the left and fired home to put his team on level terms.
Karnataka kept pressing and managed to regain the lead from a well-organized move between Pradhan Somana and Nitin Thimmaiah to set up Muthana P R, who scored from the edge of the circle, in the 34th minute.
Indian Oil upped the tempo in the second half as they went all out in search of goals and their efforts bore fruit in the 46th minute when Mujthaba deflected home Vikram Kanth's cross from the right.
IOC continued to exert pressure on the rival goal but the Karnataka side was presented with the best chance to take the lead when they were awarded penalty-stroke after Somana was fouled inside the 'D'. But they muffed the chance.
However, they made amends quickly as they found the net three minutes later through Thimmaiah to go in front for the third time.
But Thakur showed his class with two superb goals to in the 67th and 69thminutes to snatch victory for his team.
In another quarter-final encounter, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) proved too good for Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Chennai, winning by a handsome 5-0 margin to also storm into the semi-finals.
Leading by just a solitary goal at half-time, BPCL produced a solid combined display in the second session to run away worthy winners.
Jarnail Singh netted a brace, while Birendra Lakra, Gurpreet Singh and Amar Aiyama contributed a goal each to complete the rout.
Earlier, in the afternoon, Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, scored a well-deserved 4-2 win over Mumbai outfit Bandra Select in a first round match. The winners enjoyed a narrow 1-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The highlight of the Kapurthala side's victory was the two goals by Roop Singh in the space on nine minutes.
Roop Singh got his first goal in the 40th minute and added the second in the 49th.
Deepak and Ranjod Singh got the other two goals for the Punjab team, while Peter Fernandez and Saad Pathanwala were on target for the Bandra lads.