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Hockey nationals: Air India, MP book quarters berth

Source: PTI
September 25, 2012 20:00 IST
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Air India and Madhya Pradesh stormed into the quarterf-inals of the 2nd Senior Men's National hockey championship after thrashing Nagaland 16-0 and Rajasthan 11-0, respectively, in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Air India had earlier won two matches against Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan 4-1 and 9-0, while Madhya Pradesh had beaten Nagaland 9-2 before losing to Air India in Group E encounters.

On Tuesday, Air India opened the floodgates with a field goal by Naveen Sagwan in the third minute before Vikas Pillay and Somanna Pradhan added two more goals to the tally in the seventh and ninth minute.

Naveen sounded the board two more times in the 10th and 13th minute with field goals, taking his goal tally to three.

Sandeep Singh scored two more field goals for Air India in 15th and 22nd minute before Birendra Lakra made it 8-0 in the 28th minute.

There was no change in the script even after the two teams switched sides as Air India continued to put pressure on the hapless Nagaland.

Vikram Pillay bulged the net twice in 36th and 37th minute to extend Air India's lead to 10-0.

Birendra struck his second goal, while Vikram hit his third in next 20 minutes before Somanna struck twice in 62nd and 68th minute. Vinod Pillay then smashed two more goals to make it 16-0.

Madhya Pradesh began their campaign with Arman Qureshi striking the ball past Rajasthan goalkeeper in 14th minute.

Madhya Pradesh kept the pressure on by constantly piercing through the Rajasthan defence and succeeded in taking the 5-0 lead before the referee blew the whistle for half time.

Amit Kumar Singh (penalty corner) and Nizamuddin Mohammed (field goal) scored one each, while Vikas Choudhary scored two more field goals.

Vikas then hammered one field goal in 46th minute.

Thereafter Madhya Pradesh players were a treat to watch as they struck the board four times more through Shakir Hussain (penalty corner), Arman Qureshi, Vikas and Irshad Iqbal (field goals), from 50th to 59th minute.

Arman wrapped it up in style in 65th minute.

In another match, Hockey Maharashtra beat Bengal Hockey Association 3-1.

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