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SCR, Indian Oil enter final with contrasting semifinal wins

PTI
NEWS
46   //    18 Sep 2017, 18:45 IST

Mumbai, Sep 18 (PTI) Indian Oil, Mumbai, and South Central Railway, Secunderabad, will contest the final of the 13th PMC Bank All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey tournament tomorrow. Two-time runners-up Indian Oil outclassed the Punjab Police from Jalandhar, back in Mumbai after more than a decade, 4-1 after leading 2-0 at half-time. Later, in a more evenly contested second semi final, South Central Railway defeated 2014 champions Army Eleven, Bengaluru, 3-2 after the two teams were tied 1-1 at the half-way stage of the match. Punjab Police were outclassed in the first half in which their rivals Indian Oil scored a brace of goals through ebullient front-liner Sukhjeet Singh, a 21-year-old from Rajpal Singh Academy in Chandigarh, and Sunil Yadav in the 6th and 24th minutes. The policemen, who had never reached the final of this tournament in the past, fought back in the early stages of the second half when they reduced the margin in the very first minute after resumption through a fine top-of-the goal try by Olympian Dharamvir Singh. But any hopes of a continued revival of their hopes were nipped when in a space of seven minutes midway through the half by oilmen's Athens Olympians Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh scored opportunistic goals by lying in wait for the right ball to deflect in. The second semi final was better contested although South Central Railway, runners-up in 2014 to the army outfit, held a slight edge overall. In fact, the Army team led 2-1 very early in the second half before the railway men equalised immediately afterwards and then scored the match-winner with ten minutes left for the final hooter off their fifth of six penalty corner awards. Captain M G Poonacha provided South Central a third-minute lead by converting their first penalty corner before Chandan Aind restored parity for army by converting the first of two penalty corners they earned in the game. Crossing over, Army took the lead when Rahul Yadav cleverly scooped over the rival custodian following a cross from the left in the first minute after resumption. But the Army citadel fell in the very next minute when Raju Pal applied the finishing touches to a combined move between P R Aiyappa and Poonacha. SCR then were more in possession of the ball and benefited from this by earning two more short corners to the four they earned in the opening half. Gagandeep Singh essayed a perfect drag-flick off the fifth penalty corner award in the 60th minute to earn them a berth in the final

PTI
NEWS
Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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