Bangalore, Sept 29: Hosts Karnataka and Jharkhand completed the quarter-final line-up with emphatic victories in the concluding league matches of Hockey India’s 2nd Senior National hockey championship, here on Saturday.
Unbeaten Karnataka topped pool B with a 5-1 win over Andhra Pradesh who could not sustain the initial spirit while Jharkhand, with Ajitesh Roy scoring four goals, outplayed debutants Sashastra Seema Bal 9-1 for an all-win record in pool D.
The quarter-final line-up is: holders Haryana vs Manipur; Punjab vs Indian Railways; Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu; Jharkhand vs Air India. All the four matches will be played on Sunday.
Last year’s runners-up Karnataka started promisingly when skipper and drag-flick ace VR Raghunath converted a 11th minute penalty corner. In the 21st, Vikram Kanth drove home a Raghunath pass to put the hosts 2-0 up.
However, Andhra displayed lot of pluck and hit back in the 23rd when Sampath Kumar converted a penalty stroke that was awarded after Avinash Chindrapu’s goal-bound attempt struck defender Darshan Dayavai on the foot.
While the Karnataka forwards showed prodigality in missing chances, Andhra had few openings, but their forays looked as dangerous as those of their rivals.
On change of ends, the complexion of the game changed as Karnataka went on the offensive and three field goals in quick succession through MK Mudappa (43rd), Nitin Thammaiah (48th) and SK Uthappa (51st) 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 that caved in under ceaseless pressure.
Jharkhand who needed just a draw to progress in the competition, left nothing to chance as India forward Ajitesh Roy led from the front with a four-goal burst while penalty corner specialist Diwakar Ram converted two from set-piece play while 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 boasted several India players.
The day began with Chandigarh notching their third win in pool D by defeating Uttarakhand 7-1, but their hopes were dashed when Jharkhand came through 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 for the quarter-finals.
The results of Day 7 of 2nd Hockey India National Championship, Bangalore:
Pool B: Karnataka 5 (VR Raghunath 11th; Vikram Kanth 21st; MK Mudappa 43rd; Nitin Thimmaiah 48th; SK Uthappa 51st) beat Andhra Pradesh 1 (Sampath Kumar 23rd).
Pool B: Himachal Pradesh 18 (Siddharth Shanker 3rd, 11th, 20th, 21st; Prashant Kalsh 36th, 38th, 60th, 63rd; Sarbjeet Singh 30th, 59th; Rockey Lochab 44th, 61st; Rajesh Kumar 49th; Pawan Bassi 16th; Hatinder Singh 23rd; Lakhvir Singh 34th; Amit Lochab 41st; Harpreet Bansal 69th) beat Mizoram 1 (Lalruatfela Zota 55th).
Pool D: Jharkhand 9 (Ajitesh Roy 15th, 18th, 41st, 47th; Diwakar Ram 37th, 57th; Roshan Minz 9th; Anil Xaxa 46th; Jhon Minz 60th) beat Sashstra Seema Bal 1 (L Joychandra Singh 19th).
Pool D: Chandigarh 7 (Shahnawaz Alam 27th, 68th; Lakhwinder Singh 9th; Raminder Singh 16th; Devender Singh 18th; Lovedeep 53rd; Kulbhushan Vashisht 58th) beat Uttarakhand 1 (Maheshwar Singh Negi 67th).
Day 8 (30th September 2012) Schedule:
1ST QF : 1200 NOON – HOCKEY HARYANA Vs MANIPUR HOCKEY
2ND QF: 0230 PM – HOCKEY KARNATAKA Vs HOCKEY UNIT OF TAMIL NADU
3RD QF: 0500 PM – HOCKEY PUNJAB Vs RAILWAY SPORTS CONTROL BOARD
4TH QF: 0730 PM – HOCKEY JHARKHAND Vs AIR INDIA SPORTS PROMOTION BOARD
Hockey India Press Release