Indian Oil down BPCL via penalty shootout to clinch Gold Cup
Mumbai, Dec 20 (PTI) International Talwinder Singh did the star turn by scoring three goals, including the decisive goal in the sudden death penalty shootout, to help Indian Oil, Delhi, edge out Bharat Petroleum, Mumbai, 5-4 and lift the 52nd Bombay Gold Cup hockey title for the second time today.
In a closely fought final between the two public sector petroleum firms at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Indian Oil took a 1-0 lead early in the first half through Talwinder Singh that was neutralised by Sher Singh of BPCL in the 52nd minute of play.
With the teams locked 1-1, the penalty shoot-out was resorted to and it also finished with both teams tied at 4-all after converting three goals each in the shoot-out.
The sudden death was applied and, after both Lalit Upadhyay for BPCL and Bharat Chikara for IOL failed to score, captain Birender Lakra was foiled by the Indian Oil custodian Krishan Pathak before Talwinder Singh beat BPCL goalie Vikas Dahiya to notch the match-winner.
Indian Oil, thus, regained the crown that they won in 2013 and also prevented BPCL from lifting the crown for the fourth time from six appearances in the summit clash.
There was not much to separate the two teams with both matching each other and forcing a few penalty corners each without tasting success through their expert drag-flickers - captain V Raghunath for Indian Oil and youngster Varun Kumar for BPCL.
Talwinder Singh gave Indian Oil the lead in the 5th minute when he reverse hit a rebound off the goalie's pads following a shot taken by his teammate Affan Yousuf, who had scored a hat-trick yesterday in the semi-finals against last year's winners South Central Railway.
Indian Oil, which secured four penalty corners in all, then survived a spell of attacking hockey from BPCL in which India star S V Sunil was prominent and the two teams trooped out at half time with IOL 1-0 up.
The change of ends brought the equaliser for BPCL, who earned three short corners in the game, when Sher Singh applied the finishing touch to a cross to the middle of the striking circle from the left wing.
Both the teams then strove hard for the match-winner and Indian Oil's Talwinder Singh even put the ball into the goal with a hit instead of a deflection off an indirectly taken penalty corner that was promptly disallowed.
With the teams remaining locked 1-1 at the end of 70 minutes of play the first set of penalty shoot-out ensued in which Chikara, Talwinder Singh and Simranjeet Singh scored for Indian Oil, while Upadhyay, Varun Kumar and captain Lakra were successful for BPCL.
Upadhyay hit wide in the sudden death duel that followed but Chikara too failed to score to keep the two teams deadlocked before Lakra missed for BPCL and Talwinder scored to pilot Indian Oil to the coveted crown