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Karnataka-Haryana summit clash in men’s National Hockey at Bhopal

Sunday June 19, 2011 08:27:21 AM, Pervez Bari, ummid.com

Bhopal: Karnataka will take on Haryana in the summit clash of the 1st Hockey India Senior Men National Hockey Championship 2011 at the historical Aishbagh stadium here on Sunday evening.

Karnataka humbled National Games champions Punjab 2-1 n the first semifinal on Saturday while National Games runners-up young enthusiastic Jharkhand team went down fighting in the sudden death tie-breaker to Haryana 7-8 in the second semis.

Karnataka started spiritedly and dominated the game completely in the first half with Punjab proving to be slow starters who failed to match the moves made by their opponents. Karnataka made forays after forays into Punjab citadel and kept their rivals constantly under pressure to ward off the onslaughts.

Outclassing Punjab team V. R. Raghunath put Karnataka one up (1-0) in the tenth minute after he converted the penalty corner with his perfect drag flick to sound the board to the glee of his teammates. This was Raghunath’s 11th goal in the tournament of which ten came through penalty corner conversions.

Seven minutes later Punjab came close to equalize but Ravipal, who had placed himself inside the circle in front of the goal, on being put through by Sarvanjit Singh from the right flank aimlessly shot out.

Karnataka could have added two more goals to their kitty in the first half. However, in the 23rd minute forward Deepak Thakur’s shot was not blocked out effectively by Punjab goalkeeper Guriqbal Singh while Rafeeq’s powerful left flick went away closely grazing the right post. At lemon-break the score-line remained 1-0 in favour of Karnataka.

With the change of ends after the breather the Punjab team seemed to be completely a transformed lot. Probably a pep talk from their coach Baljit Singh Saini during the recess saw their overall game go several notches up to keep the Karnataka side at tight leash and give run for their money.

In the very opening minute of the second session Dharamvir Singh through a field goal got the much needed equalizer (1-1) to bring Punjab at par with Karnataka. However, Karnataka again forged ahead when ten minutes later Hariprasad scored the team’s second goal when he was put through by Raghunath via Deepak Thakur to do the needful (2-1).

In the 25th minute of the second half Punjab failed to equalise again as Manpreet Singh’s left flick at the goal post was padded away by Karnataka’s Bharat Chettri, the man under the bar. Punjab in closing minutes used everything in their armoury to equalize and take the game into extra time of golden goal but failed in their pursuits. Thus, Punjab crashed out and Karnataka marched into the final.

It may be mentioned here that in the quarterfinals Punjab team had toyed with Bihar to win 9-0.

Meanwhile, the second semifinal was an absorbing affair with both Jharkhand and Haryana remaining tied up 1-1 at the end of scheduled time of 70 minutes. The following extra time of 15 minutes applying the golden goal rule failed to break the ice as it remained goalless and the score stood unchanged at 1-1. Thereafter, the tie-breaker rule was applied with five penalty strokes to each team and in this both the teams scored five times each to make the score-board read 6-6.

In the end sudden-death rule was implemented when both the teams were given one penalty stroke each. In the second round penalty stroke of this sudden-death Roshan Minz of Jharkhand failed to beat Jasbir Singh under the Haryana bar while Sher Singh scored for Haryana to make the final tally 8-7 in his team’s favour to enter the final.

Jharkhand boys played brilliantly with fine stick work, coordination and gusto to dazzle their rivals Haryana but lacked fine finish and ultimately paid the penalty. On many occasions they came close to forge ahead but wavered at crucial moments to capitalize on the chances that came their way.

 (pervezbari@eth.net)
 

 

 

 


 

 

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