TN enters final, qualifies for 'A' Division of hockey
Chennai, Jan 19 (PTI) Host Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu edged out Sports Authority of India (SAI) 6-5 via the tie-breaker to enter the final of the Hockey India Senior National men's hockey championship ('B' Division) here Saturday.
In an exciting semifinal encounter in which the lead kept changing hands, both the teams were locked 3-all at the end of regulation time.
In the penalty shootout, Tamil Nadu converted three of the five attempts, while SAI managed to score only two, enabling the home team seal a place in the final.
By reaching the final, Tamil Nadu also qualified for the 'A' Division after a gap of four years.
SAI started well and went ahead in the ninth minute through Bobby Singh Dhami, before Tamil Nadu levelled seven minutes later as Shanmugham found the mark.
The host took a 2-1 lead in the 20th minute when Vinodhan converted a penalty corner.
However, SAI restored parity through Mohit Kumar in the 25th minute.
Tamil Nadu regained the lead in the 40th minute when Vinod Rayer got one past the rival custodian.
A penalty corner conversion by Rahil Kumar in the very next minute helped SAI equalise.
In the penalty shootout, Senthil Nayagam, R Manikandan and S Manikandan converted for Tamil Nadu while Joshua and skipper Senthil missed out.
SAI players missed the first, second and the fifth shot and managed to convert the third and fourth through Vishal and Lokesh Bora respectively