Quarter-finals of the Hockey India 7th Senior National Hockey Championship 2017 (Men) ‘A’ Division were played out today.
In the opening quarter-final of the day, Railway Sports Promotion Board beat Comptroller & Auditor General of India 3-1. In a cautious start to the game, both teams adapted a more defensive approach in the goalless opening quarter. The second quarter was headed in a similar direction before Sheshe Gowda scored to break the deadlock in the final minute of the quarter. The teams headed into the half-time break, with Railway Sports Promotion Board leading by a single goal. Yuvraj Walmiki (36′) and Affan Yousuf (37′) scored in quick succession to extend their lead in the final quarter. Gurpratap Singh’s 44th minute goal for Comptroller & Auditor General of India reduced the lead, but Railway Sports Promotion Board stifled their play in the final quarter to hold, take the victory and move into the semi finals.
In a goal-filled and charged second quarter-final, Hockey Chandigarh edged out The Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd 4-3. Hockey Chandigarh were the team that came out charging, taking the lead in the 7th minute via Damanjit Singh. Damandeep Singh scored a second in the 28th minute to take into half-time leading 2-0. In the third quarter, Damandeep added another to his tally (32′) to wrap up, what seemed like a comfortable victory. The Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd weren’t to be pushovers though, a final quarter surge, with goals by Amit Goswami (50′), Vikram Yadav (56′) and Mayur Patil (59′) leading the fightback. The goals were punctuated by Damanjit’s second of the game (58′), a goal which gave Hockey Chandigarh a lead, and the confidence to close out and take the victory.
Punjab & Sind Bank beat Air India Sports Promotion Board 3-2 in a shootout. In a defensive game, where both teams were mostly playing out the game in midfield, it took till the second quarter for an opening. Mohd Umar gave Air India Sports Promotion Board in the 24th minute. Punjab & Sind Bank found the equalizer within five minutes though, Gaganpreet Singh converting a PC to draw them level at half time. Neither team was able to break the deadlock in the third and fourth quarters, some stout defending helped by a lack of clear opportunities. In the ensuing shootout, Air India Sports Promotion Board seemed to have struck the early blows, Almeda Cheeyanna Bopaiah and Raj Kumar Pal converting to give them the lead. Punjab & Sind Bank missed their first two attempts, but it was then the tide turned. Jaskaran Singh, Vikramjit Singh and Santa Singh fluently converted their strokes as Air India Sports Promotion Board missed theirs in the crucial moments. Punjab & Sind Bank ended up 3-2 winners.
In the final quarter-final of the day, Hockey Punjab beat Uttar Pradesh 4-0. Hockey Punjab were dominant from the start of the game, establishing control and attacking their opponents incessantly. Baljinder Singh scored their opener in the 28th minute, via a PC conversion. Goals by Dharamvir Singh (31′), Amarpreet Singh (46′) and Gurjant Singh (49′) consolidated a dominating performance as Hockey Punjab moved into the semi-finals.
Railway Sports Promotion Board will face Hockey Chandigarh in the opening semi-final, at 1500 hours IST on June 24, 2017. Punjab & Sind Bank will play Hockey Punjab in the second semi-final at 1700 hours IST on June 24, 2017. Both semi finals will be telecasted live on DD Sports.