Bhubaneswar, February 28: Bangalore Central University beat Bangalore University 5-4 in a nail-biting shootout to take home the men’s hockey gold in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games here on Friday.
In a pulsating final, Haresh Somappa Mutagar scored a brace, in the 30th and 53rd minutes, to keep Bangalore Central in the hunt all through the encounter.
His team was down 0-2 by the second quarter, with Bangalore University’s CS Shamanth (13') and Yathish Kumar B (24') sounding the boards early in the match.
Shortly after Haresh’s first goal, BU widened the lead to 3-1, with BP Somanna converting a penalty stroke. Haresh reduced the margin a second time but BCU had to wait till the 59th minute to find the equalizer, through skipper Mohd Raheel Mohseen.
Locked 3-3 after regulation time, the two Bangalore teams got down to the shootout, adding further to the drama.
"We didn't start the match well but I am happy that we were able to come back in the game with an improved performance in the 3rd and 4th quarter," captain Mohd Raheel Mohseen said.
In the shootout, the two teams missed two shots each for a stalemate at 3-3. In the ensuing sudden death, Raheel and Bangalore University's CS Shamanth scored to continue the deadlock. Haresh then scored for BCU while their experienced goalkeeper Sanjay HT made the all-important save off F Pavan Madivalar's attempt to carve out the victory.
With international hockey stars Deepak Thakur and Devesh Chauhan, who were here to scout talent for their company IOCL, seated in the spectator gallery, the players went all out to impress them, making for a great final.
"It was a very tense final, especially given our rivalry back home in Bengaluru. But we all knew about the IOCL scouts and tried to put up a good performance. I am happy we held our nerves till the end and won in sudden death," Raheel concluded.
In the Women's Final, ITM University, Madhya Pradesh beat Sambalpur University, Odisha 4-1. Anjali Gautam (11' and 46'), Upasana Singh (19'), Jyoti Pal (43') scored for the winners while Dipti Lakra (14') was the lone goal scorer for Sambalpur University, Odisha.