Bangalore, Sept 28: Indian Railways and Manipur entered the quarter-finals of 2nd Hockey India Senior Men National Championship by winning hard-fought matches in their respective pools, here on Friday.
The Railways overcame talented Uttar Pradesh 3-1 to top pool F unbeaten while a youthful Manipur, coached by former India star Tikken Singh, overcame Association of Indian Universities 4-3 in Pool H to record their third win and advance to the quarter-finals.
Railways and Manipur joined defending champions Haryana (Pool A), Punjab (pool C), Air India (Pool E) and Tamil Nadu (Pool G) in the knock-out stage that commences on Sunday.
Starring in Manipur’s thrilling win were Jayanta Kumar Meitel and Gangamba who scored two goals apiece while the Universities replied through Barkat Singh (2) and Hansraj (1).
An action-packed first half saw Manipur scoring twice as Meitel and Gangamba found the mark in the 17th and 19th minutes, but the collegians fought back to equalize through Barkat Singh (25th) and Hansraj (32nd).
On change of ends, Manipur stepped up the pressure with Gangamba giving them the lead with a 36th minute strike only to see Barkat putting Universities back on part in the 42nd. Meitel then sealed the issue in the 55th minute and Manipur managed to nurse the lead to the finish.
The Railways found their heroes in Sanjay Bir Singh (15th, 34th) and Victo Singh (42nd) while Chandan Singh (22nd) brought some solace for Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, hosts Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand registered their third wins to keep themselves in contention for quarter-final berths.
Karnataka easily defeated Delhi 9-0 and Andhra Pradesh routed Mizoram 15-3 in two Pool B matches while Jharkhand overwhelmed Goa 15-0 to maintain their unbeaten run in Pool D where Guwahati-based Sashatra Seema Bal later beat Uttarakhand 5-1 for their second win.
Taking time to settle down, Karnataka opened their account in the 24th minute through Pundalik Bellary and thereafter, scored at will through VR Raghunath, Vikram Kanth, MK Mudappa, Shanker Patil, PL Thimmanna, SK Uthappa, Nikin Thimmaiah and Nitin Thimmaiah.
Joining Karnataka at the top of Pool B were Andhra Pradesh who defeated Mizoram 15-3 for their third win. Spearheading Andhra’s goal-spree was Ajay Babu with four goals, followed by Kishore Krishna (3), Ramesh Krishna (3), Sandeep Raju (3), Avinash Chindrapu (2).
Mizoram sparked to life late in the match and struck thrice in a three-minute spell through Lalthakima (58th), Lalduhawma (60th) and Lalrinngheta (61st), but by then they had already conceded 14 goals.
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka both have nine points apiece, but the home team is better placed on goal-difference. The two teams meet on Saturday to decide who will qualify for the quarter-finals.
Topping the Jharkhand goal-rush was drag-flick specialist and India player Diwakar Ram who converted seven penalty corners and another international Ajitesh Roy netted two while Wilson Minz, Anil Xaxa, Banmali Xess, Birendra Lakra, Shashi Topno and John Minz contributed one goal apiece.
In Pool F, Assam completed their league engagements on a winning note as they beat Tripura 6-0. It was Assam’s first win in three matches as Magalinga Swami, Ratan Mutana, Rajesh Boro, KD Cariappa and an Own Goal paved their success while Tripura lost all their three matches.
Bihar also finished their campaign in pool F by defeating Andaman and Nicobar 6-0 for their only win in three matches while the islanders suffered their third defeat.
Riazuddin and Niraj Tigga scored twice while Gabriel Herenj and Anup Topno scored one apiece for Bihar.
In an inconsequential Pool A match, Bhopal, thanks to goals by Irfan Ali and Merajuddin, got past Bengal 2-0 to finish second behind holders Haryana who have already qualified for the quarter-finals. For Bengal, it was their third defeat in four outings one of which they drew.
The results of Day 6 of 2nd Hockey India National Championship, Bangalore:
Pool A: Bhopal 2 (Irfan Ali 45; Merajuddin 66) beat Bengal 0.
Pool B: Karnataka 9 (Pundalik Bellary 24; VR Raghunath 27; Vikram Kanth 32; MK Mudappa 35; Shanker Patil 44; PL Thimmanna 49; SK Uthappa 50; Nikin Thimmaiah 52; Nitin Thimmaiah 63) beat Delhi 0.
Pool B: Andhra Pradesh 15 (Kishore Krishna 1, 20, 27; Ajay Babu 8, 38, 39, 69; Ramesh Krishna 12, 18, 50; Sandeep Raju 28, 51. 45; Avinash Chindrapu 34, 41) beat Mizoram 3 (Lalthakima 58; Lalduhawma 60; Lalrinngheta 61).
Pool D: Jharkhand 15 (Diwakar Ram 20, 37, 39, 49, 55, 60, 67; Ajitesh Roy 31, 52; Wilson Minz 7; Anil Xaxa 10; Banmali Xess 25; Birendra Lakra 29; Shashi Topno 32; John Minz 69) beat Goa 0.
Pool D: Sashatra Seema Bal 5 (S Romikumar Singh 20, 44; L Joychandra Singh 10; H Surchandra Singh 48) beat Uttarakhand 1 (Prakash Singh Mehra 65).
Pool F: Indian Railways 3 (Sanjay Bir Singh 15, 34; Victo Singh 42) beat Uttar Pradesh 1 (Chandan Singh 22).
Pool F: Assam 6 (Magalinga Swami 11, Ratan Mutana 16; Rajesh Boro 25, 50; KD Cariappa 34; Own Goal 40) beat Tripura 0.
Pool H: Manipur 4 (Jayantakumar Meitel 17, 55; Gangamba 19, 36) beat Association of Indian Universities 3 (Barkat Singh 25, 42; Hansraj 32).
Pool H: Bihar 6 (Riazuddin 14, 46; Niraj Tigga 35, 50; Gabriel Herenj 37; Anup Topno 53) beat Andaman & Nicobar 0.
Day 7 (29th September 2012) Schedule:
|62||29.09.2012||8:00 AM||1||B||HIMACHAL PRADESH||vs||MIZORAM|
|63||29.09.2012||2:30 PM||1||D||JHARKHAND||vs||SASHASTRA SEEMA BAL|
|64||29.09.2012||4:00 PM||1||B||KARNATAKA||vs||ANDHRA PRADESH|
Pitches: Bangalore Hockey Stadium, Langford Road (Pitch 1, aka Shantinagar Hockey Stadium) and MEG AstroTurf at MEG Centre, Banaswadi Road (Pitch 2).
With Inputs from Hockey India Press Release