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Mar Osthathios hockey: Prabhakar set-up a Rovers final clash

Prabhakar Academy battled past Vikram Pillay ‘A’, while Rovers Academy surpassed Excellency Academy

pune Updated: Apr 13, 2019 17:56 IST
Rian Khorana
Rian Khorana
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,mar,osthathios
Prabhakar Aspat Academy (orange) take on the Vikram Pillay Academy ‘A’ in the semifinal at the Dhyan Chand stadium in Pimpri on Friday. (HT PHOTO)

Prabhakar Aspat Academy battled it out with Vikram Pillay Academy ‘A’ in the semi-finals of the Mar Osthathios invitational hockey tournament at the Dhyan Chand hockey stadium, Pimpri, on Friday.

The latter played more energetic hockey in the first half with a lot more speed and composure. Prabhakar Aspat Academy tackled this tempo in the remainder of the match, eventually beating them 6-4, by constantly rotating player positions and direction of play.

“We had more experienced players who could read their gameplay,” said Ashish Uguekar, Prabhakar Aspat coach.

In the second semifinal, Rovers Academy surpassed Excellency Academy 3-1 in their comeback season, after a two-year long break. Rovers looked dominant throughout the game and could have stretched the score line even further in their favour.

In the first minute of the 10-goal Prabhakar versus Vikram Pillay thriller, Mohammed Sadiq of Prabhakar scored a poacher’s goal, running rings around the Vikram goalkeeper after a speedy run down the left.

The equaliser (13th minute) from the opposition came through Venkatesh Kench’s placement of a shot out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Taleb Shah’s lead (17th ) for Vikram Pillay Academy attracted resistance from the opponent players.

Kunal Jagade scored a sweep shot equaliser in the 23th minute, easing the pressure off their manager’s half time talk.

Prabhakar Aspat then fired three goals to break the opposition’s first half concrete build up.

First, Arvind Yadav (35th) then Ganesh Gurigosavi (37th) off a penalty corner and Mohammed Sadiq (44th ), got their team going. Rahul Shinde of Vikram Pillay Academy made it 5-3 by making the widest angle look easy.

Both teams thereafter bagged goals Arvind Yadav (50th) for Prabhakar and Venkatesh Kench for Vikram Pillay (55th ), finishing the game 6-4, in favour of Prabhakar.

The second semifinal saw Tushar Durga of Rovers Academy make a perfect set- up in the circle for Rahul Rasala’s goal (17th ). Rahul’s younger brother Aditya skimmed the ball through the keeper’s legs, sounding the ball on the board in the 27th minute.

Their comfortable lead against Excellency Academy influenced their goal conversion rate for the rest of the game, but they managed to increase their tally to three goals when Rahul struck again (41st). Excellency Academy’s consolation goal came in the 48th minute through Saurab Patil.

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 17:55 IST