Punjab, Services and Railways scored resounding victories to storm into the Super League stage in the 61st Senior hockey nationals in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Chandigarh and Bengal had to sweat it out to make it to the last eight stage via golden goals while Uttar Pradesh edged past hosts Hyderabad 3-2 and Karnataka had smooth sailing into the next stage, beating Delhi 2-0.
Punjab demonstrated their scoring skills with a 11-1 win over Universities with star player Gagan Ajit Singh pumping in five goals. Akram Iqbal scored the solitary goal for Universities.
In another one-sided match, Services blanked Mumbai 5-0, after leading by a lone goal at the half-time with EliazerLakra, Sunil Ekka, D Maahadik, Cyprin Aind and Sisan Topno sounding the board.
Irshad Ali and Somanna found the mark for Karnataka to pack Delhi home while a late resurgence by hosts Hyderabad could not prevent Uttar Pradesh from moving to the next round.
Railways blanked Kerala 7-0 for a smooth journey into the Super League, with Ajay Alphonso netting three goals in a match that which had no penalty-corner conversions.
It was Chandigarh vs Andhra match that evoked keen interest as the tie slipped into tie-break after the two teams were locked 2-2 at the regulation time. Gurtej Singh netted the golden goal in 79th minute as Chandigarh won 3-2.
The Super League begins on March 25 after a rest day on Thursday.