Karnataka finish third in senior hockey national
Bangalore: Karnataka got the better of the defending champions, Haryana 2-1 to finish third in the second Hockey India Senior Men`s National championship, here today.
Karnataka scored once in each half through MB Aiyappa and skipper VR Raghunath. While Aiyappa struck in the 24th minute from a goalmouth scramble following a left-wing move, Raghunath converted a penalty corner in the 41st minute.
Haryana captain Sardar Singh scored with a reverse hit in the 60th minute to reduce the margin.
In today`s play-off involving the 2011 finalists, Karnataka dominated from the word go and could have actually won by a bigger margin. But they once again ended up wasting a number of scoring chances. Haryana, meanwhile, showed urgency only late in the match.
Karnataka, showing appreciable fluency and purpose, applied pressure on Haryana, but the forwards proved to be real let-downs as they failed to cash in on the openings inside the striking circle.
It was left to Aiyappa, adjudged the Man-of-the-Match, to open the account for Karnataka with an opportunistic goal that inspired the hosts to intensify their efforts.
However, it was not until 41st minute that Karnataka managed to breach the Haryana defence when Raghunath came good with a drag-flick for the only penalty corner conversion from five attempts.
At the other end, Haryana had few opportunities as they could not find a way through the well-organised Karnataka defence, which though slackened in the last quarter and it saw Sardar Singh latching on to a pass to essay a reverse hit to goal.
With time running out, Haryana switched to an all-court press, but Karnataka pulled back all their players to defend and managed to nurse their slender lead to the final hooter.
In fact, Haryana forced four of their seven penalty corners in the second-half, all proving abortive, while Karnataka received five chances, but could convert only one.