Mumbai beat Haryana to end title drought
It was a dream come true for three-time champions Mumbai on Sunday. They outplayed spirited Haryana 3-2 to win the 63rd Senior National Men's Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup here.india Updated: Jul 18, 2010 22:57 IST
It was a dream come true for three-time champions Mumbai on Sunday. They outplayed spirited Haryana 3-2 to win the 63rd Senior National Men's Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup here.
Mumbai, who had their last national title in 1989, dominated the proceedings in the first half, but Haryana forwards launched a series of attacks.
The back line, combining skipper Conroy Remedios, Sumeet Topno and Gursev Singh wasn't at its best on Sunday, and they were let off the hook only because Haryana squandered a few good chances.
Alden D'Souza put Mumbai ahead with a great goal that was created by Laxman Rao. Rao trapped a long ball from midfield, before putting it through to the unmarked D'Souza, whose reverse hit almost from an almost impossible angle, was a worthy opener and had the crowd on its feet.
The goal, however, didn't dampen the spirit of Haryana, and in the very next minute they managed their first penalty corner. But, Surendra Kumar's hit went just wide of the goalpost.
Gursev Singh, later named player of the tournament, extended the lead for Mumbai in the 42nd minute, converting a penalty corner, but two minutes later Munish Rana reduced the margin for Haryana, with a superb solo effort.
The game was heading for an exciting final few minutes. Haryana came back stronger than ever, pushing Mumbai onto the back foot.
A confident Hansraj made no mistake in converting his team's second penalty corner to make it 2-3 in the next minute.
Haryana skipper Vinod Kumar had the best chance to take the game into extra time, but he was undone by his Mumbai counterpart.
Mumbai held on though, and Alden D'Souza's brace gave his team the trophy, and him the man of the match award.