The sky was overcast, raising hopes of rain. But it only rained goals as formidable Air India outplayed Oil and Natural Gas Corporation 4-2 in the inaugural Pool C match of the 81st MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup All India hockey tournament in Chennai on Wednesday.
The take-off was perfect for the airmen with their star striker Roshan Tete opening the account in the very first minute through a field goal.
Dominating the exchanges, the airmen struck again six minutes later, when former India defender Anil Aldrin converted a penalty-corner even as the ONGC strikers, who forced two penalty-corners, struggled to find their touch.
Air India forced a 3-0 lead with S R Kundu converting the third penalty-corner in the 20th minute.
However, ONGC, led by strikers Amarjeet Pratap and Prem Kumar, pulled up their socks in the second session and forced seven more penalty-corners. But none of them were productive.
However, they managed to pull one back in the 57th minute when Amarjeet Pratap capped in a solo effort amid a goalmouth skirmish.
But ONGC goalkeeper Gurinderjeet Singh again came under pressure with Roshan Tete breaking away off a feeder from the left flank to make it 4-1 in the 61st minute.
The contest was out of hands for ONGC though Amarjeet managed to strike for the second time in the last minute.
Amarjeet found the target with a shot from the top of the circle after Premkumar, unable to break past the defence, gave the ball back to him to provide the finishing touches.