Mumbai: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bangalore lifted the All-India Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Championship trophy by dethroning holders Indian Oil, Mumbai 10-9 via sudden death in the final here on Sunday.
The scores were tied 5-5 at the end of the regulation time and 8-8 in the tie-breaker when BPCL goalkeeper Swinder Singh rose to the occasion by making three remarkable saves in the deciding penalty shootout.
First, he did well to foil Vikas Sharma and Dharamveer Singh and later in the sudden death, he thwarted the dangerous Gurjinder Singh to clinch the issue in his team?s favour and help them regain the crown they won for the only previous time in 2007.
In the penalty shoot, BPCL converted through Birendra Lakra, Lalit Upadhay and S.V. Sunil from their first five tries and again through Upadhay and Lakra in the sudden death.
Indian Oil found success through Gurjinder Singh, S K Uthappa and Kothajit Singh from the opening five attempts and in the sudden death only Dharamveer converted from the first try.
In regular time, Indian Oil - who were seeking their fourth straight triumph after winning the Mumbai Super League, Bangalore League and recently the Surjit Singh titles - cracked open the BPCL defence to score the opening goal through ex-India player Roshan Minz whose fierce reverse hit beat goalkeeper Swinder Singh in the 15th minute.
Five minutes later, skipper and former international Deepak Thakur capitalised on an easy opening to double the lead.
However, BPCL came back strongly and turned things around with player-cum-coach Tushar Khandekar scoring thrice in succession. Khandekar first hit the target in the 22nd minute and two minutes later struck again for the equaliser before finding the mark for the third time in the 34th minute to put his team in front and go into the break with a 3-2 lead.
Soon after resumption Indian Oil managed to draw level through Vikram Kanth in the 38thminute.
But BPCL continued their search for goals and earned a penalty stroke when William Xalco?s penalty corner drive struck the foot of Vikas Sharma positioned on the goal line in the 47thminute. Prabdeep Powar converted to make in 4-3 in favour of BPCL.
Five minutes later Upadhay tapped home Sunil?s cross from the right to increase the lead 5-3.
The Indian Oil side were not prepared to give up. Their ace penalty corner specialists Gurjinder Singh, whose earlier two attempts were saved by goalkeeper Swinder Singh, finally found success from the third penalty corner in the 57th minute, and the sixth in the 68th minute to restore parity for his team and give them a fighting chance of trying to retain their title.
But they went on to lose the battle in the decisive penalty shootout to settle for the runner-up cash prize of Rs one lakh. BPCL went home with the winners? prize of Rs 2 lakh. Birendra Lakra of BPCL was declared ?Player of the Tournament and awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000.