Seventh Hussain Hockey Tournament : Walmiki’s second hat-trick in as many days guides Excellency to title
Excellency went into the game as overwhelming favourites and stuck to their game plan from the first minute as they played an attacking brand of hockey and took the contest to their opponents.pune Updated: Jul 12, 2018 14:34 IST
Inspired by a treble from the Indian international Yuvraj Walmiki, Excellency Academy got their hands on the 7th Hussain Hockey Tournament trophy at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium, Nehrunagar, Pune after beating Bombay Engineering Group (BEG) 4-1 in the final.
Excellency went into the game as overwhelming favourites and stuck to their game plan from the first minute as they played an attacking brand of hockey and took the contest to their opponents.
They had two half chances to open the scoring early on, but their hard work was finally rewarded when Walmiki netted the first goal of the match in the 4th minute to give his side the lead.
Six minutes later, the commanding forward was once again on the scoresheet as he lashed on to a killer pass to slot the ball home past keeper Dhanraj Singh in the opposition goal to make it 2-0.
Walmiki constantly evaded the man-marking trap and found himself in acres of space which put BEG on the back foot.
BEG managed to organise themselves after going down a couple of goals as they maintained a strong defensive line and made surges into the opposition while defending resolutely.
After a few half chances to score, they sensed they were clawing back in the game, but a lapse in concentration saw them concede a third just on the stroke of half-time.
Singh was faced with the challenge of dealing with a one-on-one and decided to charge towards Walmiki who rushed into the shooting circle.
Putting his experience to good use, the forward showed great awareness and presence of mind as he chipped the ball over the keeper’s head to score the best goal of the match and send his side into the break with a three-goal cushion.
The second period, much like the first, began with Excellency dominating possession. They kept hold of the ball well, stretched the play, and dictated the tempo of the game. They dropped the pace a little as they now prioritised holding onto their lead rather than going in search for more goals.
Fortunately, they did manage to add another goal to their tally and it was a different scorer this time around.
Vineet Shetty’s hard-hit effort midway into the second half ensured that Excellency had a four-goal advantage going into the final quarter.
BEG did manage to find the back of the net at the very end.
They unsuccessfully threatened Avadhut Solankar in the Excellency goal on three to four occasions in the game.
However, his clean sheet got taken away from him as Kanchan Rajbhar scored a goal for BEG in the 40th minute through a penalty corner. That goal was the last telling moment of the game as Excellency cruised to victory in what proved to be a pretty one-sided finale.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the dominating display and undoubtedly went home happy looking at their performance.
First Published: Jul 11, 2018 16:47 IST