Jalandhar 16 October 2013: The semifinal line up of the 30th Indian Oil Sarvo Surji Singh Hockey Tournament is known. The defending champions IOCL will face Army XI, while ONGC take on PSB in the semi-finals to be played tomorrow, which will be live on PTC channel.
On the last of day quarter-final league stage, Punjab & Sind Bank became the third team to qualify for semis while ONGC completed the semi-final line-up.
ONGC defeated BSF 3-0 to top the Pool-B. It was a bad day for BSF which conceded a self-goal to their rivals through Raj Singh in the 24th minute. ONGC leading 1-0 at half time, doubled the lead through Bikash Topo in the 49th minute. And Sarabjit Singh scored a field goal in the 61st minute to complete the tally of 3-0 for ONGC.
It was no easy task for the Punjab & Sind Bank as they found themselves trailing thrice against Bharat Petroleum who played attacking hockey. BPCL, who earned lead thrice in the match, could hold the PSB’s fight back to level the score every time.
Bharat Petroleum drew the first blood when Hari Prasad struck in the 4th minute to put his team ahead but nine minutes later Sarvanjit Singh, the Captain of PSB, scored to level the scores. Capitalizing on a raid Tushar Khandekar scored a field goal to put BPCL to restore their lead by one goal (2-1). This was the score line (2-1 in favor of BPCL) which read at the half time.
But the bankers did not give up and moved its players once again. This time PSB drew parity once again in the 50th minute, when Karamjit Singh scored a field goal to make it 2-2. In fact the bankmen forced the Bharat Petroleum on the defensive with a blistering pace of hockey, with a flurry of attacks. However, their attacks were well handled by the BPCL defending line.
Against the run of play, Bharat Petroleum once again mounted attack and got the reward. Gurpreet Singh scored in the 62nd minute to put Bharat Petroleum ahead (3-2). But the brave Punjab & Sind Bank team showed they may have been down but not out. They repeatedly raided the Bharat territory dangerously but luck deserted them at crucial junctures. But they did not lose heart and continued pressing for the advantage. Their hard work paid and in the 66th minute Ajit Pandit foudn the target after receiving a pass from Sarvanjit Singh to level the score third time in the game.
This goal proved fatal for the Bharat Petroleum who lost out the battle to their struggling counterparts. Though both team finished with same points in the table but the Punjab & Sind Bank team rolled into the semifinal on superior goal average. Full credit to the bankers who encashed every opportunity that came their way. Though they trailed throughout, yet they refused to yield to superior rivals. At the end, fortunes favoured the brave and the bank team found themselves well rewarded for their efforts.
According to Iqbal Singh Sandhu, organizing secretary of the Surjit Hockey Society, both semifinals and the final will telecast live on PTC channel.
17th October’s Fixture of Surjit Hockey 2013:
16.15 PM Punjab XI (Pakistan) Versus Punjab XI (India)
17.30 PM IOC Versus ARMY XI (Semi Final -I)
19:00 PM Punjab & Sind Bank Versus ONGC (Semi Final -II)