India Light Blues (ILB) outsmarted the more experienced India Dark Blues (IDB) while India Juniors beat India under-18 in the 16th Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
IDBs, who exhibited attacking hockey on Tuesday to tame Youngster Hockey Club, Pakistan, squandered an early lead to lose the match to the ILBs, who got their act together after an ordinary performance in the first half.
In the 12th minute, Kanwalpreet Singh struck a powerful shot off a penalty corner to put IDBs 1-0 up.
Just five minutes before the breather, Prabodh Tirkey scored the equaliser for the ILBs.
IDBs spoilt several chances to score despite creating some good moves.
The second half entirely belonged to ILBs, packed with aspiring internationals as they resorted to all out attack -- evident from the fact that they got four of their five penalty corners in the second half.
After failing to score from two penalty corners while trying out some improvisations, ILBs succeeded to earn the decisive lead through Dhananjay Mahadik's goal off a short corner in the 48th minute.
Linkman Prabodh Tirkey played a crucial role in ILB's win. His all-round game in attack and defence won him the man-of-the-match award. Among others, William Xalxo displayed some aggression in defence while Ajmer Singh showed presence of mind in saving a definite goal.
In another match, India Juniors rallied from 0-2 down to post a 3-2 victory over India under-18.
The under-18 outfit started off with an impressive note by striking home twice in the first half. Both the goals, one off a penalty stroke and the other off a penalty corner, were scored by Vikramjit Singh.
The game was just two minutes into the second half and Manish Kumar's reverse flick resulted in a spectacular goal as the juniors opened their account.
After a while, Gurtej Preet levelled the scores (2-2) by getting a ball from Senthil.
It appeared as if the match would end in a draw until Ravi Kumar struck the final blow in the 68th minute to ensure victory for India Juniors.
In tomorrow's matches, India under-18, who are out of contention for a berth in the semi-finals, will meet Youngster Hockey Club, Pakistan, while Telekom Malaysia will have a go at the ILBs.