Star-studded Air India dethroned Indian Oil Corporation Limited 3-1 in the men’s final to lift the 2nd Bengaluru Hockey Cup, while in women’s competition Haryana XI edged past defending champions Madhya Pradesh Academy 2-1 in shoot-out to win the title. Both the teams played a 0-0 draw in the regulation time at the hockey Stadium here on Monday.
Winners Haryana XI (women) and Air India (men) got richer by 2.5 lakhs and runners-up MP Academy (women) and IOCL (men) were awarded with 1.25 lakhs each.
Women: Best Player: Rashmy PP (Karnataka); Best Goalkeeper: Rukmini Virk (Haryana); Best Defender: Nisha (Haryana XI); Midfielder: Manpreet Kaur (MP Academy); Forward: Reena Khokhar (MP Academy)
Men: Upcoming Player: Md Raheel (Karnataka); Best Goalkeeper: Adrian D’ Souza (Air India); Best Defender: Cheeyanna (Air India); Midfielder: Sonu Ponnanna (Karnataka); Forward: Binay Bengera (Army XI).
For Air India, Vikram Pillay (14th minute), Birendra Lakra Sr (16th min) and Joga Singh (24th min) scored field goals in the first half while Sunil Yadav reduced the margin through a short corner for IOCL in the 52nd minute. Earlier in the women’s final, after a dull and dreary goalless draw in the regulation time, Haryana were successful in the penalty shoot-out through goals from Nicky and Manjeet while Renu Khokhar converted for MP Academy.
Air India removed the sting out of the contest with two goals in the space of two minutes by 16th minute and added one more before the crossover. They shot ahead when Joga Singh dribbled into the circle and with defender Vikram Kanth all over him, he lifted the ball to Vikram Pillay and the wily striker tapped in to surprise Devesh Chouhan in the IOCL goal. Within two minutes Birendra Lakra deflected a cross on a counter-attack to make it 2-0.
Thereafter Joga Singh made it 3-0 in the 24th minute and IOCL suddenly woke up and switched gears and made a relentless effort but found Adrian D’Souza a hard nut to crack in the Air India goal. Their repeated raids into the rival circle where thwarted by an alert Air India defence and Oilmen were also guilty of missing seven of the eight short corners they earned. From the last penalty corner in the 61st minute, they changed the variation and defender Sunil Yadav took a low draft flick to beat Adrian, but it was too little too late.
In women’s final, after a dull and dreary draw in the regulation time which remained goalless Haryana were successful through goals from Nicky and Manjeet while Renu Khokhar convert for MP Academy in the penalty shoot-out. Monika Dahiya, Devika Sen and Saroj could not negotiate and beat the MP custodian Swati and shot wide. For MP Academy Jyothi Pal and Siddi Singh shot to the sideboards while Manjeet Kaur shot wide and skipper Shivani Singh scooped the ball over the bar. Last year too, MP girls lost in the shoot-out.
Earlier, Haryana began well with a couple of raids in the first ten minutes but the MP Academy girls were up to the task with Pagya and Neelu Dadiya manning the defence well and midfielder Neha Singh too fell back to assist the defence. After ten minute MP team too attacked but could not get their act together at the all-important end. In the second session, Haryana raised their game but Pinki and Manjeet were not in their elements and all they could do was get four short corners which were wasted. For Haryana, Shilpi Dabas excelled in the defence.