Namdhari enter hockey national semis with 4th consecutive win
Lucknow: Namdhari XI continued its winning streak and defeated Rajasthan 3-1 in their last Pool A league match to book their place in the the semi-finals of the fourth Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2014 (Division B) at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, here on Monday.
With their fourth consecutive win, Namdhari topped the points table in the Pool A.
Irrespective of the final result, it was Rajasthan who took the lead in the 29th minute through Saif Ali Khan.
But Namdhari drew level at the stroke of halftime from a penalty stroke which was perfectly converted by Santa Singh (35th).
In the second half, Namdhari were the aggressive among the two sides and surged ahead in the 42nd minute through a penalty corner conversion by Bhagat Singh Dhillon.
Namdhari sealed the match in their favour in the 65th minute when Santa Singh scored his second goal of the day, this time from a field effort.
In the second match of the day, Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd were held to a 1-1 draw by Jammu and Kashmir.
After a barren first half, Jammu and Kashmir went ahead in the 53rd minute through Amrinder Singh`s goal before the Mumbai outfit equalised in the 63rd minute through Kuldeep`s strike.
The draw enabled Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd to stay on the top of the points table, while Jammu and Kashmir with one win and one draw are placed fourth in Pool B.
The third game of the day between Bihar and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) also ended in a draw.
It was a fast-paced exciting contest as Bihar and SSB were locked at 5-5 after regulation time in the Pool A tie.
Naveen Minz (4th, 57th) scored two goals, while Sankalp Raghav (2nd), Ajit Kerketta (17th), Bhim Kumar (19th) scored one each for Bihar.
For SSB, H Surachandra Singh (26th, 60th) and Pradeep Kumar Singh (45th, 61st) scored two goals each whiole the other came from the sticks of Gunamani Singh (24th).
Meanwhile, in the last match of the day Himachal Pradesh eked out a fighting 2-1 win over Uttarakhand in Pool B.
HP took the lead in the 28th minute through captain Gaurav Kumar.
But Uttarakhand leveled the scores in the 56th minute from a penalty corner which was converted by Vikram Singh before HP scored the winner in the 65th minute when skipper Gaurav scored his second goal of the day to ensure the win for his side.
In the Wednesday`s semifinals, Namdhari XI will take on Hockey Gangpur-Odisha while Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd will face Hockey Maharashtra in the second last four match.
Pool A: Namdhari XI 3 Santa Singh (35th, 65th); Bhagat Singh Dhillon (42nd) vs Rajasthan 1 Saif Ali Khan (29th).
Pool B: Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd 1 Kuldeep (63rd) vs Jammu and Kashmir 1 Amrinder Singh (53rd).
Pool A: Bihar 5 Sankalp Raghav (2nd); Naveen Minz (4th, 57th); Ajit Kerketta (17th); Bhim Kumar (19th) vs Sashastra Seema Bal 5 Gunamani Singh (24th); H Surachandra Singh (26th, 60th); Pradeep Kumar Singh (45th, 61st).
Pool B: Himachal Pradesh 2 Gaurav Kumar (28th, 65th) vs Uttarakhand 1 Vikram Singh (56th).