Punjab to play Air India in HI Senior Men`s National final

Pune: Defending champion Punjab scored a facile 5-2 win over Karnataka to enter the final of the third Hockey India Senior Men National Championship at Major Dhyan Chand Polygrass Hockey Stadium here on Sunday.

In tomorrow`s summit clash, Punjab will face Air India while Haryana will take on Karnataka in the third-fourth position play-off match.

Leading 3-2 at the half time, Punjab scored through Deepak Thakur (10th, 22nd min), Gurjinder Singh (17th), Sarvanjit Singh (45th) and Vikramjit Singh (58th) while M K Muddappa (7th) and Nikkin Thimmaiah (29th) scored for Karnataka.

Punjab were by far the better side on display as they showed lot of character and composure. Karnataka, on the other hand, committed far too many errors forcing them to adopt a defensive approach in the second half of the game.

Earlier in the day, last year`s runners-up Air India defeated Haryana 7-3 in the first semi-final.

Air India, who led 4-1 at the half time, scored through Affan Yousuf (5th, 43rd), Vikram Pillay (15th), Prabodh Tirkey (28th), Sameer Dad (31st), Joga Singh (37th) and Arjun Halappa (68th) while Mandeep Antil (10th), Hansraj (53rd) and Jitender Saroha (60th) scored for Haryana.