10 June, 2013: Air India defeated defending Champions Punjab by 6-2 to win the 3rd Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2013 which concluded today at the Major Dhyan Chand Polygrass Hockey Stadium in Pimpri, Pune on Monday.
Air India got off the mark quickly and rushed ahead with 2 quick goals from Sameer Dad (2nd minute) and Affan Yousuf (3rd minute). Sameer finished after receiving the ball from Joga Singh, while Affan (eventually adjudged Man of the Championship) found the target with reverse flick. Though Punjab tried to come out and put pressure on Air India, but some brilliant defending by Ajmer Singh and tight marking of Deepak Thakur by Air India skipper Prabodh Tirkey did not give any chance to Punjab to score in 1st half.
After the change of end Air India scored two more goals yet again through Sameer (39th minute) and Affan (42nd minute) to make it 4-0. This time both Sameer and Affan took their sweet time to unleash shot on goal to put through Goalkeeper Kamaldeep Singh who replaced Baljeet after lemon break. With four goals cushion Air India continued to play with confident, and added one more through Joga Singh in 53rd minute, when he deflected a hard hit by Vikram Pillay from a few inches outside the Punjab circle.
In the next very minute Deepak Thakur found the first goal for Punjab to reduce the margin to 5-1 but Pradhan Sommana scored 6th goal of Air India in the 58th minute with a tomahawk to make it 6-1. Though former Indian Skipeer Deepak Thakur scored one more defending champions Punjab in 68th minute on a penalty corner but by then it was too late.
In the bronze medal match, Karnataka defeated Haryana 3-2 to finish third in the tournament. Haryana opened the scoring through Damandeep Singh in the 28th minute while Karnataka drew the parity through in the 33rd minute through MG Poonacha.
Talented Nikkin Thimmaiah scored a field goal to earn lead (2-1) for his side Karnataka in the 46th minute, which lasted for 6 minutes when Yudhvir Singh found the target for Haryana in a goalmouth scramble. Just a few seconds before regulation time hooter, Karnataka got a penalty corner, which was taken after the hooter and Indian International SK Uthappa converted it to win the Bronze Medal for his side.
Final- Air India 6 (Sameer Dad 2, 39, AffanYousuf 3, 42, Joga Singh 53, Pradhan Sommanna 58) beat Punjab 2(Deepak Thakur 54, 68)
3rd Place play off- Karnataka 3(M.G. Poonacha 33, Nikkin Thimmaiah 46, S K Uthappa 70) beat Haryana 2(Damandeep Singh 28, Yudhvir 52)