In the end it all boiled down to experience. Air India were struggling to find rhythm and with Uttar Pradesh leading 1-0, coach Gavin Ferreira sent the experienced Dhanraj Pillay to help the team wrest back the initiative. Dhanraj did create chances but mistakes by the young forwards thwarted the stalwart's efforts and Air India went into the breather. But just when it looked like Air India's campaign would flounder, they came back strongly and struck three goals to emerge 3-2 winners.
Quarterfinal line-up (Matches on Thursday): Punjab vs Bihar; Karnataka vs Air India; Jharkhand vs Railways; Haryana vs Orissa.