Uttar Pradesh XI and South Central Railway (Secunderabad) edged out All India Customs and former champions Corps of Signals respectively to enter the quarter-finals in the Bombay Gold Cup hockey tournament in Mumbai on Saturday.
UP eleven scored an unimpressive 1-0 victory over Customs, the winning goal coming in the 20th minute of the second half through Ravi Bharti off an indirectly taken penalty-corner, to earn a quarter-final meeting with Punjab XI from Lahore, Pakistan, on May 2.
Later, in another listless match which stretched into the tie-breaker, South Central Railway defeated Signals, champions in 1989, 5-3 after the teams were locked 1-1 at full-time.
The railwaymen went into the lead in the fourth minute through a spectacular effort from Amit Shrivas. He went on a solo run into the 'D, drew a rival defender away and then reverse hit the ball in past Signals custodian Imran Khan.
The match then became a pedestrian affair before Signals, who had won their first two matches via tie-breaks, equalized in the 14th minute of the second half.
Signals' hardworking forward Paramjit Singh found the target off an indirectly taken penalty-corner, the first for either side in the match.
While all four railwaymen - S Dung Dung, Amit Kumar, Bipin Thimmiah and Ramesh were successful in the ensuing 'strokes' duel, only Rakesh Kumar and Vinod Sharma clicked for Signals. Ghansyam Das and Narinder Salaria flopped.