Hockey: IOC, Air India enter semi-finals of Obaidullah Cup
Bhopal: Indian Oil Corporation and Air India entered the semi-finals of the 66th International Obaidullah Gold Cup Hockey tournament here with easy wins.
While IOC trounced hosts Bhopal Red 6-2, Air India defeated Malaysia XI 3-2 at the Aish Bagh stadium here on Friday evening.
IOC and Air India have won all the three fixtures played so far to make entry into the last four.
At breather, IOC led by 2-1. Bhopal Red took 1-0 lead in the eighth minute with a brilliant field goal by skipper Osaf-ur-Rehman but it was equalised by IOC in the 18th minute through a penalty corner by its captain Deepak Thakur.
In the 34th minute, drag flicker Gurjinder Singh converted a penalty corner into a goal making IOC lead 2-1.
After the half-time, IOC`s Bharat scored a field goal in the 38th minute and five minutes later, Indrajeet struck the ball into the net and gave IOC a 4-1 lead.
The fifth goal for IOC was scored by Deedar Singh in the 61st minute through a penalty corner but within a minute, star player of Bhopal Red, Affan Yusuf hit a brilliant field goal and reduced the score 2-5.
Two minutes before the end of the match, Prabhjot Singh of IOC struck a field goal and ensured his team`s victory by a margin of 6-2.
IOC skipper, Deepak Thakur was declared man of the match.
In the other match, Air India and Malaysia were equal at 1-1 at the breather.
For Air India, Birendra Lakda, who was declared man of the match, gave a 1-0 lead through a field goal in the seventh minute but it was equalised by Hajik Samsol of Malaysia XI in the 31st minute.
However, in the second half, Air India`s star forward Shivendra Singh put the ball into the net in the 40th minute and took 2-1 lead.
Later, in the 64th minute, AI`s Sameer Daad struck a goal and gave 3-1 lead to his team but two minutes later, Hajik Samsol scored his second goal.
In the third match, ONGC defeated BPCL 3-2. With this win, ONGC stood at the top of Group-B with six points while BPCL has earned only one point from two matches.