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Senior National hockey: Karnataka, Jharkhand enter quarters

Source: PTI
September 29, 2012 21:42 IST
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Hosts Karnataka and Jharkhand entered into the quarter-finals of second Hockey India Senior Men National Championship with emphatic victories in their respective last league matches in Bangalore on Saturday.

Karnataka, who are unbeaten so far in the tournament, topped pool B with a 5-1 win over Andhra Pradesh and will now meet Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals.

Jharkhand, riding on Ajitesh Roy's four goals, outplayed debutants Sashastra Seema Bal 9-1 for an all-win record in pool D. They will take on Air India in their last-eight stage match.

Other two quarterfinal matches will be played between holders Haryana and Manipur, and Punjab and Indian Railways.

All the four matches will take place on Sunday.

On the day, last year's runners-up Karnataka started on a promising note when skipper and drag-flick ace, V R Raghunath converted a 11th minute penalty corner.

In the 21st minute, Vikram Kanth drove home a Raghunath pass to put the hosts 2-0 up.

Andhra, however, hit back in the 23rd minute when Sampath Kumar converted a penalty stroke that was awarded after Avinash Chindrapu's goal-bound attempt struck defender Darshan Dayavai on the foot.

On change of ends, the complexion of the game also changed as Karnataka went on the offensive and three field goals were scored in quick succession through MK Mudappa (43rd), Nitin Thammaiah (48th) and SK Uthappa (51st) that effectively ended Andhra's challenge.

Karnataka displayed far more vigour and focus in the second half when they came up with some flowing moves that marked the fourth and fifth goals to dismantle the Andhra defence, which caved in under ceaseless pressure.

Jharkhand, who needed just a draw to progress in the competition, did not take any chance as India forward Ajitesh Roy hit four goals, while penalty corner specialist Diwakar Ram converted two from set-piece play.

Roshan Minz, Anil Xaxa and Jhon Minz added one apiece to the tally.

The Guwahati-based SSB, playing in their first national-level competition outside the All-India Police Games, showed a lot of spirit early on and even struck in the 19th minute through L Joychandra Singh, but could not sustain the pace against a team that consists of several India players.

The day began with Chandigarh notching up their third win in pool D by defeating Uttarakhand 7-1, but their hopes were dashed when Jharkhand won in the afternoon.

Later, Himachal Pradesh hammered Mizoram 18-1 in their concluding pool B fixture for their first win, but the result had no bearing on the race to the quarter-finals.

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