Railways, Punjab & Sindh Bank to meet in final of national hockey championship
Punjab & Sindh Bank defeated Punjab by a solitary goal to book a place in Sunday’s final of the national hockey championship against Railwaysother sports Updated: Jun 24, 2017 21:21 IST
Punjab and Sindh Bank (PSB) rode defender Parvinder Singh’s splendid work to shock last year’s runners-up Punjab by a solitary goal in the semifinals of the national hockey championship here on Saturday.
They will take on Railways in the final on Sunday (5 pm start). The defending champions roared back to crush Chandigarh 5-1 after trailing 0-1 in the first quarter in the other semifinal.
A chance to make it to a development side of Hockey India seems to have encouraged the fringe players of Indian hockey, which includes some last year’s junior World Cup winning side, a list for which will be compiled at the end of the tournament.
Arman Qurashi, Parvinder Singh and many others from the victorious junior side, playing here for different sides, are likely to make the cut.
PSB and Punjab failed to score as the match entered the last five minutes and a penalty shootout appeared imminent. But the experienced Gurmail Singh set it up for PSB, sending a perfect cross for Karamjit Singh, who made no mistake in pushing the ball home diving to his right in the 57th minute.
Much to the surprise of Railways, Chandigarh forged into the lead in the eighth minute through skipper Gaurav Tokhi. Though Railways raised their attack and dominated the game, chances of an equaliser looked remote even in the second quarter.
However, things changed in the dying minutes of the third quarter. Nilakanta Sharma equalised in the 42nd minute before Ajay Kumar Pandey stretched the lead to 2-1 in the 48th minute. Back-to-back goals by Railways left Chandigarh running for cover.
In the 49th minute, Nilakanta struck his second (3-1) before Yuvraj Walmiki (54th) and Karanpal Singh (59th) netted two more goals to round off the tally. The score-line could have been different had the two teams not missed over a dozen penalty corners.
Chandigarh will play Punjab in the match for the third place.