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Punjab Police make winning return to Mumbai hockey

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mumbai: Playing in Mumbai after almost a decade, Punjab Police, Jalandhar made a winning return as they ground out a hard-fought 1-0 win against Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Mumbai in an exciting Pool-A league match of the  Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament, played at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate.

Sarvanjit Singh scored the decisive winning goal when he converted a penalty stroke in the 29th minute. Umpire Nishan J. Mohanty awarded Punjab Police the penalty stroke when BPCL defender Sukhman Singh blocked with his body Dupinder Deep Singh goalbound hit on the goalline.

Punjab cops with a couple of Olympians and former internationals in the ranks encountered quite a strong challenge from a depleted BPCL outfit, who were without several of their regular players who are currently in the Indian camp.

Earlier in the afternoon, skipper Deepak Thakur scored the opening two goals in leading Indian Oil, Mumbai to an overwhelming 7-1 win against Central Railway, Mumbai in a Pool-B league match.

The veteran Olympian Thakur showed that he has not lost his scoring touch with some clinical finishing. In the 11th minute Thakur at the top of the circle trapped Sukhjeet Singh’s pass from the right and with a firm reverse hit sent ball past Central goalkeeper Avadhut Solankar crashing to the boards. He was again on target 13 minutes later when he deftly deflected home a long hit from the left to double Indian Oil’s lead before Sunil Yadav converted a penalty stroke just before the half-time hooter to put Indian Oil in a comfortable position (3-0).

Central Railway looked to be a jaded lot and struggled to keep pace with the opposition and lacked fitness to play in the hot, humid conditions and caved in meekly.

Indian Oil continued in the same vein on resumption and in the 37th minute Roshan Minz scored the fourth off an assist from Thakur and six minutes later Sukhjeet with a lunging effort struck the fifth goal. Harpreet Singh from another field effort got the sixth goal for the oil major in the 61st minute before Central managed to get on the scoreboard with Rajendra Pawar squeezing the ball home from an acute angle in the netx minute. Prabhjot Singh another veteran Olympian tapped home from close Indian Oil’s seventh goal late in the match.

Results - Pool-A: Punjab Police 1 (Sarvanjit Singh –PS) beat BPCL 0. Pool-B: Indian Oil 7 (Deepak Thakur 11th, 24th, Sunil Yadav 35+1st-PS, Roshan Minz 37th, Sukhjeet Singh 43rd, Harpreet Singh 61st, Prabhjot Singh 68th) beat Central Railway 1 (Rajendra Pawar 67th).

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