BANGALORE, October 11: A hat-trick by Indian star forward Shivendra Singh lifted Air India as they came back twice from behind to win against Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited 4-2 for their first win in 1st Bengaluru Cup All-India invitational hockey tournament.
BPCL, playing their first match, forged into the lead in the eighth minute when Amir Khan tapped in from the goalmouth after Asian Games gold medalist SV Sunil did the spadework. Sunil cut into the circle from the left flank and dribbled down the goal-line towards the left post and sent a short pass to Amir Khan who made no mistake.
Air India drew parity in the 24th minute with a stinging shot from Shivendra Singh from an acute angle. BPCL took the lead once again seven minutes into the second session when defender William Xalxo sounded the boards following their third penalty corner.
But Air India, coached by Star Forward Dhanraj Pillai, stepped up pace with Shivendra Singh scoring two more goals in the space of three minutes. He struck the equalizer in the 45th minute (2-2) and three minutes later, smashed a shoulder-level ball into the net from near the far post after a brilliant scoop from the left flank to take the lead (3-2).
Thereafter, BPCL tried to force the pace with a couple of raids but could only get three more short corners. In the 66th minute, Air India made it 4-2 with a Samir Dad goal and put paid to the hopes of BPCL.
Earlier, in the women’s section, Haryana, with three Indian players in their ranks, swamped Tamil Nadu, mostly consisting of youngsters, 16-1, scoring eight goals in each half.
In the other women’s matches, Central Railway drew with MP Academy 3-3 while Karnataka converted three penalty corners in the second half to hold Western Railway 3-3.
For the hosts, Komala BM, who braved an injury to the nose, scored two goals from the set-piece drills. Teena KR scored from the other penalty corner from a rebound after Komala’s first hit. Pooja Ravi, Namita Toppo and Lilly Chanu M scored for the visitors.
Today’s (11th October 2014) Results:
Air India 4 (Shivendra Singh 3, Samir Dad) beat BPCL 2 (Amir Khan, William Xalxo).
Haryana 16 (Monika D 3, Jyoti Gupta 3, Jaspreet 3, Monika 2, Nickey 2, Ritu Rani 2, Neha 1) beat Tamil Nadu 1 (Jaya Lakshmi).
Central Railway 3 (Vandana Kataria, Yendala Soundarya, Sandeep Kaur) drew with MP Academy 3 (Reena Khokhar, Shivani Singh, Karishma Singh).
Karnataka 3 (Komala BM 2, Teena KR) drew with Western Railway 3 (Pooja Ravi, Namita Toppo, Lilly Chanu M).
Tomorrow (12th October, 2014; Sunday)’s fixtures:
Women: 10 am: Haryana vs Karnataka; 12 noon: Central Railway vs Western Railway. Men: 2pm: BPCL vs Army XI; 4 pm: IOCL vs Karnataka XI.