Haryana, Karnataka enter semis of senior National hockey

Updated: Sep 30, 2012, 18:43 PM IST

Bangalore: Hosts Karnataka and defending champions Haryana defeated Tamil Nadu and Manipur respectively to enter the semi-finals of Hockey India`s second Senior Men`s National championship here today.

While Karnataka defeated TN 2-0 in their quarter-final clash, Haryana got the better of Manipur 4-2 in another last-eight match.

Karnataka both goal came in the first half through MK Mudappa (29th minute) and PL Thimmanna (32nd).

Mudappa gave Karnataka the lead deflecting home a cross from Pundalik Bellary past TN goalkeeper P R Sreejesh.

Three minutes later, Thimmanna got a touch to a long hit from the centre-line by skipper Vikram Kanth for the second Karnataka goal.

In the second-half, both teams took turns to dominate but the rival goalkeepers -- Sreejesh and Tarun Thammanna -- brought off some good saves to deny a threat to their respective goals.

Neither team was able to convert a couple of penalty corners.

A disappointed Tamil Nadu coach Mohd Riaz Nabi attributed the defeat to the inexperience of his team.

"Considering the strength and composition of Karnataka team that had about seven to eight international players, besides country`s top drag-flick expert (VR Raghunath), I am quite satisfied with the performance of my team," Riaz said.
Haryana, Karnataka enter semis of senior National hockey
"We had barely two to three days of training before
coming to Bangalore. Majority of the boys are very young and inexperienced, but we had a few chances, especially the penalty corners, but couldn`t stop the ball because of bad bounce," said Riaz, a former India player.

Earlier in the Haryana scored twice in each half to beat Manipur 4-2 and become the first team to enter the semi-finals.

Spearheading Haryana`s charge was former India forward Bharat Chhikara, who opened the scoring with goals in the third and sixth minutes while Mandeep Antil (43rd) and Didar Singh (44th) netted one apiece from penalty corners after the change of ends.

Manipur, playing in their maiden quarter-final game at this level, however went down fighting as Jayantakumar Meitel (31st, 60th) converted two penalty corner to keep his team in the hunt.
But the experienced Haryana side held on to the two-goal lead until the final hooter.

"I am quite satisfied with our performance. It was a good exposure for the boys playing in their first quarter-final at the National level," said 1986 World Cupper Tiken Singh, the coach of Manipur team.

"We were slow to start today, but we were in the game until Haryana scored two quick goals in the second-half. In fact, their third goal, which could have been disallowed for raised ball, was the turning point.

"We have to improve on our fitness and also understanding among the players. Since most of our players play for different units and organisations, it is tough to get them together for a long preparatory camp," he added.