Pune: Ranjodh Singh fired two second half goals as Chandigarh registered their third straight win beating Puducherry 5-2 to qualify for the quarterfinals from Pool G, in the National ‘B’ of the 5th Hockey India Senior Men’s National Hockey championship at the Balewadi Hockey Ground here on Sunday.
Completing the quarterfinal line-up was Himachal, who were held to a goalless draw by Major Port Sports Control Board in a Pool H league match later in the afternoon.
The last set of league matches saw some intense action on Sunday morning. Winless Bihar rode on to Rakesh Roshan Ekka’s two goals, scored on either side of the half-time, to beat Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2-1 in a Pool G match.
Ekka scored in the 22nd minute as the teams went into half-time with Bihar leading 1-0. Dadra and Nagar Haveli, who had stunned Puducherry earlier this week, shot back four minutes into the second half through Nitesh, but Ekka scored in the 42nd minute to give Bihar the much-needed morale boosting win.
Chandigarh shows class
Knowing well that even a loss would not hurt their chances of quarterfinal qualification, Chandigarh went into the match with positive attitude and played good offensive hockey.
Amanpreet Singh opened the account in the 10th minute, but Puducherry defended well to halt Chandigarh’s run then on.
On resumption after half-time, Chandigarh pushed Harwant Singh and Ranjodh further upfront and the result were there to see.
Harwant scored on a field effort in the 41st minute before Ranjodh came up with his two goals scored in a space of four minutes. In between Puducherry had reduced the margin through R Raghu, but that really didn’t affect Chandigarh’s gameplan.
Ranwant Singh made it 5-1 in the 58th minute and J Sudharsan scored a consolation goal in the final minute of the match for Puducherry.
Draws in Pool H
Both the matches scheduled in the Pool H were drawn, more importantly group leader Himchal were held to 0-0 draw by Major Port Sports Control Board.
It was a good match that saw the Port team matching Himachal in all departments, but it was a wake-up call for Himachal, who qualified for the quarterfinals. Himachal will meet Group A winners Manipur on the morrow in the first match of the day.
In the second match Sashastra Seema Bal and Madhya Pradesh played out 2-2 draw with L Joy Chandra Singh (4th) and Sandeep Kumar (39th) scoring for the forces team. For Madhya Pradesh, Devesh Yadav (14th) and Mayank Jemes (46th) were the scorers.
Pool G: Bihar 2 (Rakesh Roshan Ekka 22nd, 42nd) beat Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1 (Nitesh 34th). HT: 1-0.
Chandigarh 5 (Amanpreet Singh 10th, Harwant Singh 41st, Ranjodh Singh 53rd, 57th, Ranwant Singh 58th) beat Puducherry 2 (R Raghu 48th, J Sudharsan 60th). HT: 1-0.
Pool H: Himachal 0 drew with Major Port Sports Control Board 0.
Sashastra Seema Bal 2 (L Joy Chandra Singh 4th, Sandeep Kumar 39th) drew with Madhya Pradesh 2 (Devesh Yadav 14th, Mayank Jemes 46th). HT: 1-1.
Quarterfinal line-up: Manipur v Himachal; Delhi v Chandigarh; Namdhari XI v CISF; Vidarbha v Patiala
Monday’s fixtures at National B Hockey championship:
Manipur v Himachal at 7.30 am
Delhi v Chandigarh at 9 am
Namdhari XI v CISF at 10.30am
Vidarbha v Patiala ai 12.30 pm
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