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Air India, Punjab in Sr National hockey final

Source: PTI
October 01, 2012 20:19 IST

Punjab and Air India entered the final of the second Hockey India Senior Men's National Championship after contrasting semi-final victories, in Bangalore, on Monday.

While Air India came from behind to beat last year's runners-up Karnataka 3-2, Punjab outplayed defending champions Haryana 4-1.

Karnataka squandered a 2-0 lead asĀ Air India scored the match-winner just at the final hooter.

Air India were out of the frame for a major portion of the match, even as Karnataka led 2-0, with Pundalik Bellary (32nd minute) and Nitin Thimmaiah (44th) scoring.

But a profitable 20-minute spell at the end of the second half changed the equation completely as three quick goals were scored.

Arjun Halappa converted two penalty-strokes (50th and 61st minute) before Vinaya Vokkaliga slammed home a penalty-corner just as the final hooter went.

This brought the curtain down on a stormy match that saw three yellow card suspensions.

Earlier, in the other semi-final, penalty-corner specialist Gurjinder Singh struck twice to help Punjab win.

Gurjinder continued his goal-scoring spree and converted two penalty-corners in 15th and 21st minutes, before Satbir Singh (51st) and skipper Sarvanjit Singh (55th) completed the tally for Punjab.

Naveen Antil got a consolation goal for Karnataka in the 58th minute.

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