Murugappa cup hockey tourney: IOC, PSB enter semi-finals

By NT Bureau Published on Sep 14, 2018 06:40 PM IST


Chennai: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) played out a 2-2 draw in the final league game of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Thursday.

Despite the draw, both teams sealed a spot in the semi-finals from Pool B, with eight points from four games.

Indian Navy narrowly missed out on a semis berth with seven points.

After conceding five goals in its previous pool game against Bengaluru Hockey Association, PSB was an improved lot in its defence against a well-experienced IOC side.

The bankmen opened their account in the 12th minute, with Ashish Kumar Sharma striking a powerful drive to the near post. IOC pegged back before the half-time break as Affan Yusuf slotted the ball home neatly.

IOC was sluggish in its penalty corners, becoming a little too predictable for the opposition. It has been a cause for concern for it since the start of the 10-team tournament. But, IOC was on the front foot at the start of the second half, forcing PSB goalkeeper Guriqbal Singh to make quite a few good saves.

There was a brief stoppage of play around the 40-minute mark as the floodlights at the venue did not work. IOC coach Deepak Thakur was not happy with it and he had an altercation with one of the officials on the sidelines during the break.

IOC, which was earlier trailing in the contest, went ahead in the 54th minute. Bharat Chikara had an easy tap-in from close range. There was more in store in the match as PSB levelled things up in the 61st minute.

Gaganpreet Singh delivered a superb shot off a penalty corner to eke out a point for the men from Punjab.

In the first match of the day, Railway Sports Promotion Board scored an easy 3-1 win over Central Secretariat. Harsahib Singh, Ajmer Singh and Karan Pal Singh scored for the winning side.

Railway finished on top of the points table in Pool A because of goal difference. Both the semi-final matches will be played Saturday.

Railway will square off against PSB in the first last four clash while IOC will lock horns with Indian Army in the second. Friday will be rest day.

Result: Railway Sports Promotion Board 3 (Harsahib Singh 17, Ajmer Singh 40, Karan Pal Singh 44) beat Central Secretariat 1 (Mohit Kumar 37);

Punjab and Sind Bank 2 (Ashish Kumar Sharma 12, Gaganpreet Singh 61) drew with Indian Oil Corporation 2 (Affan Yusuf 33, Bharat Chikara 54).