10 March 2014: Namdhari XI and Mumbai emerged as the pool winners of Pool A and Pool B respectively, thus setting up semi-finals of the 4th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2014 (Division B) against Hockey Gangpur-Odisha and Maharashtra.
The semi-finals will be played on 12th March (Wednesday) at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Lucknow, while Division A of the tournament gets underway on 11th March at the same stadium.
Namdhari XI, continuing its winning spell, defeated Rajasthan 3-1 in their last Pool A league match.
With their fourth consecutive win, Namdhari XI stays on the top of the points table in the Pool A. The match started with Rajasthan scoring their 1st goal in the 29th minute by Saif Ali Khan. Namdhari XI increased the momentum and attacked Rajasthan and in the 35th minute they were awarded a penalty stroke. Santa Singh took the strike and pounded the ball through goalkeeper Sachin Saroha and helped the team to the equalizer. Going into the end of first half both the teams had 1-1 against their names.
The second half saw Namdhari XI start the game by attacking the opponents in the entire session. Their intention was clear that they had to win and for which they have to score. In the 42nd minute the team was awarded a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Bhagat Singh Dhillon. Rajasthan tried to make a comeback in the game but it was getting difficult for them to break the defense of Namdhari XI. It made matters worse for them when Namdhari XI yet again scored in the 65th minute and it was again Santa Singh who did not lose the opportunity and scored a brilliant field goal. Namdhari XI won its 4th match, while Rajasthan could only manage 1 win out of its 4 matches it played.
In the 2nd match of the day, it was Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd against the Jammu & Kashmir. The well contested match resulted in a draw with the end score being 1-1. Both the teams played quality hockey and kept the attack on each other in both the sessions. While going into the break after first half both the teams failed to open the scorecard and hence losing out on the opportunities that they got. In the second half it was Jammu & Kashmir who finally got the 1st goal of the match and which came in the 53rd minute by Amrinder Singh. Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd played an equalizer in the 63rd minute through field goal scored by Kuldeep. In the last few minutes both the teams tried getting another goal but were unsuccessful. With this draw while Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd stays on the top of the points table, Jammu & Kashmir with 1 win and 1 draw are positioned in the fourth position on the points table within the Pool B Group.
The third game between Bihar and Sashastra Seema Bal was an exciting game which again resulted in a draw. Bihar started the game with huge confidence and showcased this in the 2nd minute when Sankalp Raghav scored the 1st goal which was a penalty corner which the team successfully converted. This did not stop here. They striked again within 2 minutes and this time it was Naveen Minz who pounded the ball past the goalkeeper. They struck again in the 17th and 19th minute taking the lead to 4 goals to 0. By now no one could have thought that Bihar will not win the match. But Sashtra Seema Bal had some other plans and they opened their scorecard in the 24th minute through a penalty stroke which was awarded to them. It was O. Gunamani Singh who took the stroke and converted it successfully. From here Sashastra Seema Bal did not look back and they struck again within 2 minutes. It was S. Surachandra Singh who converted an excellent pass that he got in the 26th minute. Going into the break the scorecard read 4-2 with Bihar leading the same.
The second half saw Sashtra Seema Bal continuing their quest for the equalizer and in the 45th minute Pradeep Kumar Singh scored through a field goal. Bihar came back in the match and in the 57th minute they added 1 more goal and hence taking the goal difference to 2 again. Sashtra Seema Bal did not give up and in the 60th minute they added another goal and within a minute they got the much required equalizer. With both the team sitting on the same score they went on the attack in the few minutes bit the teams tried scoring the nail-biting match ended in a draw.
In the last match of the day, Himachal Pradesh registered its 3rd win in the Pool B defeating Uttarakhand 2-1. The first goal was scored in the 28th minute by Captain Gaurav Kumar of Himachal Pradesh which was the only goal of the first session of the game. In the second half Uttarakhand leveled the score in the 56th minute through a penalty corner which was taken by Vikram Singh and converted it sucessfully. Himachal Pradesh scored the winning goal in the 65th minute when Captain Gaurav Kumar put the goal past the goal keeper which helped them win the game.
In the semi-finals to be played on 12 March 2014, Namdhari XI will take on Hockey Gangpur-Odisha in the first semi-final and second semi-final will see Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd and Hockey Maharashtra competing with each other to book their berth for the finale.
Today (10th March)’s Result
Pool A- Namdhari XI 3 Santa Singh (35, 65 min), Bhagat Singh Dhillon (42 min) vs Rajasthan 1 Saif Ali Khan (29 min)
Pool B Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd 1 Kuldeep (63 min) vs Jammu & Kashmir 1 Amrinder Singh (53 min)
Pool A- Bihar 5 Sankalp Raghav (2 min), Naveenminz(4, 57 min), Ajit Kerketta (17min), Bhim Kumar (19min) vs Sashastra Seema Bal 5 O Gunamani Singh (24 min), H. Surachandra Singh (26, 60 min), Pradeep Kumar Singh (45, 61 min)
Pool B Himachal Pradesh 2 Gaurav Kumar (28, 65 min) vs Uttarakhand 1 Vikram Singh (56 min)
Semi-final line-up (12th March)
Semi-final 1- Namdhari XI vs Hockey Gangpur-Odisha at 1400 Hrs
Semi-final 2- Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd vs Hockey Maharashtra 1600 Hrs