Former champions Indian Railways and IHF Juniors will clash in the final of the 81st MCC Murugappa hockey tournament.
In the semi-finals on Friday, Railways put paid to the aspirations of Karnataka, winning 5-2 (half-time 3-1), while IHF got the better of Air India 4-1 via the tie-breaker after the teams were locked goalless at the end of 70 minutes of full-time and 15 minutes of extra-time.
For IHF, Navpreet Singh, Yogender Gulia, Sandeep Singh and William Xalxo were the scorers while S R Kundu was the lone player to succeed from the 'spot' for the losers.
In the Karnataka-Railways match, Vinod Kumar (10th minute), Chander Pal (17th), Shiva (26th and 49th) and Rajiv Mishra (52nd) scored for Railways, while Amar Aiyamma (12th) and Cyprian Aind (40th) got Karnataka's goals.
Railways went into attack mode right from the beginning. Defender Bikramjit Singh's excellent moves to counter Karnataka Len Aiyappa's 'drag flicks' proved productive.
Aiyappa also was woefully out of colour, failing to convert seven penalty-corners.
Railways maintained an all-out attack through their forwards Rajiv Mishra, Chander Pal and Shiva, who all turned in a smart performance.
Chander Pal initiated most of the moves and was always in the thick of action as the Railways forwards stormed the Karnataka citadel.
Karnataka too had their share of exchanges and earned eight penalty-corners against one by the Railways.
After Len Aiyappa sent the ball over from the first penalty-corner, Railways went into the lead in the 10th minute following a solo effort by Vinod Kumar. Though Karnataka drew parity two minutes later with Amar Aiyamma cashing in on a rebounder following a penalty-corner, Railways scored twice in succession.
Their second goal was a result of their forwards combining well. After captain and full-back Rama Rao made a goalline save, Chander Pal latched on to the ball and scooped in over the head of Pkoralo.
In the 26th minute, Aiyappa made things easy for Shiva to bang home from close range. Following a Breznev Singh's powerful shot from the right, Aiyappa failed to trap the ball properly and Shiva showed opportunism in scoring.
In the second-half, Karnataka played with vigour but could not break the strong Railways defence.
In the match between Air India and IHF, the rivals indulged in defensive tactics and both missed a chance each.