In the crucial match played between Karnataka and Punjab for qualifying to play in the final of the 64th Senior Men’s National Hockey championship, the hosts beat (2-1) Punjab to complete all their league stage matches with top of table finish in the single pool, which also earned a place for the hosts Karnataka in finals to be played on 16th May.
This will be Karnataka’s 2nd appearance in the final in 64 editions Rangaswamy Cup. The last time was in way back in 1968, then Mysore entered final in Uthagamandalam and had lost to Indian Railways by 1-0 to finish at 2nd place.
Right from the word go, Karnataka went all out as they knew that only the win would take them to final. The hosts went ahead early stage of the game with a PC conversion in 9th minute. Deepak Bejiwad took a grounder but the Punjab goal keeper padded away and the rebound was stopped by Naveen Manupatti of Karnataka at the top of circle who unleashed a stiff grounder to find target and earn lead for his team.
Punjab and Karnataka played out the best game in the league with equal exchanges and both the teams had share of missed chances.
Punjab went all out in the 2nd half in search of a equalizer, which came their way in 50th through a lucky own goal, in which ball trickled over the goal-line after a rebound from post touched goalie pads on a shot from outside the circle.
Both the teams played some good hockey and with equally good moves and possession of the ball, in an end-to-end stuff. But, the hosts got scored through one such exchange, when Kush received the ball from one of the karnataka defenders at a far corner of the left and he neatly dodged past two Punjab defenders and passed the ball to Vinayak Bijwad who did not waste the golden chance to put it into the goal in the 57th minute to score the winning goal for his team.
Now, Karnataka will have to wait for the result of UP and Manipur match, as UP has to win the match with 13 goals margin to snatch 2nd place in the points table from the defending champions Mumbai to enter the finals.
Today (14th May, 2013) Results (Full Results and Schedule):
1st Match: Uttar Pradesh Beat Jharkhand by 11 – 0
For Uttar Pradesh: Prem Kumar: 5th, 13th, 38th min, Ravi Bhati – 18th, 60th min; Imran Khan : 37th, 64th min; Diwakar Ram – 47th, 51st , 59th , 70th min.
2nd Match: Mumbai Beat Manipur by 21 – 3
For Mumbai: Laxman rao: 2nd min; Jayanth Meitei; 3rd, 16th min; Victo Singh: 4th, 20th, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 40th, 55th, 64th, 67thmin; Ravi Pareek – 5th, 37th, 57thmin; Vikram Singh – 21st, 25th min; Rajat Sharma – 31st min; Upendra Pillay – 45th, 48th min; Gnanendrajit Ningombam – 69th min;
For Manipur: Priyokumar – 10th min; Punachandra: 27th, 41st min.
3rd Match: Karnataka Beat Punjab by 2-1
For Karnataka: Naveen Kumar M – 9th min; Vinayaka Bijwad – 57th min.
For Punjab: OWN GOAL
Tomorrow’s (15th May, 2013) Schedule:
Uttar Pradesh Vs Manipur at 230pm
Jharkhand Vs Punjab at 430pm.