Pune: Hockey Punjab became the first team to make it to the quarter-finals of the 11th Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championship at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Monday, beating Hockey Andhra Pradesh 7-1 in a preliminary league match here.
Hockey Karnataka and Hockey Chandigarh remained unbeaten and stayed on the course of quarter-final berths registering second wins respectively pools. Hockey Karnataka downed Le Puducherry Hockey 4-1 in Pool C and Hockey Chandigarh edged out Manipur Hockey 1-0 in Pool E.
In a Pool D encounter, Punjab thrashed Hockey Andhra Pradesh to remain unbeaten in a group reduced to three teams after Hockey Andaman and Nicobar failed to turn up for the championship.
Punjab began their match with India international and 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Rupinder Pal Singh (2nd min) converting his team’s second penalty corner. Thereafter, Hockey Punjab displayed a collective show with Lovepreet Jainth (5th); Ranjot Singh (19th), Sudarshan Singh (29th) sounding the board. Hockey Andhra Pradesh surprised Punjab when Venkata Sree Arjipineni Balaji (26th) scored to end the first half 4-1.
Changing ends, Parampreet Singh (40th), Sankalp Singh (42nd), and Sudarshan completed the tally.
Earlier, Hockey Punjab beat Hockey Uttrakhand on Day 1 of the competition and now have a game against the no-show Andaman and Nicobar. Hockey Punjab (6 points) qualified for the knock-out stage, while Hockey Andhra Pradesh, who lost their first match bowed out.
In Pool E, Hockey Chandigarh found their hero in Amandeep (42nd) en route a 1-0 win over Manipur Hockey.
Manipur Hockey, coming off the back of a massive win over Tripura Hockey in their first match, fell to a deft deflection by Hockey Chandigarh’s Amandeep in the third quarter which stood to be the decider. Hockey Chandigarh remain unbeaten and now have six points to their name. Hockey Manipur and Hockey Rajasthan have 3 points each.
In another match in Pool E, Hockey Rajasthan defeated Tripura Hockey 18-0 after Vijendra Singh (25th, 28th, 40th, 48th, 50th, 57th) putting on a six-star effort.
In an all-South zone Pool C clash, Hockey Karnataka downed Le Puducherry Hockey 4-1 in the opening match of Day-3. A goal in each quarter of the encounter did the job for Hockey Karnataka. Harish Mutagar (5th) opened scoring, before S Deekshith P (25th) made it 2-0 at halftime. S Deekshit’s goal was memorable as it logged the 150th goal of the tournament. Shamanth Cs (40th) and Pavan Madivalar (49th) completed the tally. Hockey Karnataka have six points after two matches.
There was a last-second drama in the last match of the day. In a Pool-B game, Delhi Hockey scored seconds from the final hooter to defeat Hockey Madhya Pradesh 3-2. Braj Gopal (60th) deflected the ball home from close to seal the issgue
Eariier, Dheeraj Vats (29th) and Md. Altaf (48th) scored for Delhi Hockey while Ravi Rajbhar (13th) and Ayush Pethe (58th) netted for Hockey Madhya Pradesh
Pool-C: Hockey Karnataka: 4 (Harish Mutagar 5th; S Deekshith P 25th; Shamanth Cs 40th; Pavan Madivalar 49th) b Le Puducherry Hockey: 0. HT: 2-0
Pool-C: Hockey Jammu & Kashmir: 10 (Jasprit Singh 13th, 19th, 33rd, 44th; Karanjit Singh 16th, 26th; Sandeep Singh 21st; Manpreet Singh 42nd, 59th; Hussain Mohd Dar 56th) bt Hockey Arunachal: 3 (Ucha Singh 22nd; Sandeep 30th, 33rd). HT: 5-2
Pool-D: Hockey Punjab: 7 (Rupinder Pal Singh 2nd; Lovepreet Jainth 5th; Ranjot Singh 19th; Sudarshan Singh 29th, 55th; Parampreet Singh 40th; Sankalp Singh 42nd) bt Hockey Andhra Pradesh: 1 (Venkata Sree Arjipineni Balaji 26th). HT: 4-1
Pool-D: Hockey Uttrakhand bt Hockey Andaman & Nicobar – Forfeited (5-0)
Pool-E: Hockey Chandigarh: 1 (Amandeep 42nd) bt Manipur Hockey: 0. HT: 0-0
Pool-E: Hockey Rajasthan: 18 (Hashanpreet Singh 12th, 45th; Shyam Singh 14th, 52nd, 53rd, 58th; Karanjot Singh 16th, 44th; Chandransh Sharma 34th; Vijendra Singh 25th, 28th, 40th, 48th, 50th, 57th; Akhtar Qureshi 39th; Chetan Kalot 43th; Amit Kumar Saini 59th) b Tripura Hockey: 0. HT: 5-0.
Pool-B: Delhi Hockey: 3(Dheeraj Vats 29th; Md. Altaf 48th; Braj Gopal 60th) bt Hockey Madhya Pradesh: 2 (Ravi Rajbhar 13th, Ayush Pethe 58th). HT: 1-1.