Reigning champions Indian Oil, Mumbai had to dig deep into their reserves before getting the better of Army XI 11-10 in sudden death after being deadlocked in regulation time as well as in penalty shootout in the Servo Indian Oil 30th All-India Surjit Singh Memorial hockey tournament being played at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park in Jallandhar.
Army XI, who topped Pool C to make it to the last four stage, exerted early pressure on Indian Oil, drawing first blood through Millan Muthappa in the seventh minute. The oilmen responded swiftly restoring parity four minutes later through India discard Roshan Minz.
The armymen tightened the screws, score two more goals in the first half – first through Chandan in the 21st minute and second through Millan Muthappa to raise visions of an upset win as they led 3-1 at half-time.
Indian Oil rose from the ashes like a phoenix in the second half, reducing the margin in the 46th minute through Harmanpreet Singh.
Olympian Prabhjot Singh levelled the issue in the 53rd minute.
Penalty shootout was applied after both teams were locked 3-3 in regulation time. Even the penalty shootout failed to breach the logjam and sudden death had to be resorted to – Indian Oil clinched the issue to march into the final for the seventh time – they won the title three times and finished runners-up as many times.
The oilmen will now face Punjab & Sind Bank in the final showdown on Friday.
Punjab & Sind Bank edged out ONGC, Delhi 3-2 in the second semifinal. Both teams were 2-2 at the break before the bankmen produced the match-clincher in the second half to sneak into the final for the sixteenth time.
Punjab & Sind Bank has won the Surjit hockey crown six times and finished runners-up nine times.
The winners will take home a purse of Rs 5 lakh.
It may be worth mentioning that the Surjit hockey tournament is the only event in the world where prizes like car, motor Cycles, refrigerators, etc will be handed out to the spectators.
Spectators would get daily lucky coupons till October 18 at the entry gate of the stadium while players and officials would be issued the lucky coupons on the day of their first match.
The lucky draw for the ALTO and other prizes will be held soon after the final whistle of the final match.
Famous Punjabi folk singer Diljit Dosanjh would entertain the spectators on the final day.Published 18 Oct 2013, 10:23 IST