Classy Colts take on Bharat Petroleum in Nehru hockey finalNovember 24th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS
Gurgaon, Nov 24 (IANS) India Colts steamrollered ONGC XI 4-0 to enter the Nehru Cup hockey tournament final where they meet Bharat Petroleum, who eked out a 1-0 victory over Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) in an ill-tempered game here Monday.Danish Mujtaba scored a double while Diwakar Ram and Jai Karan chipped in with one each for favourites India Colts against a pedestrian ONGC in the first semi-final.
Bharat Petroleum rode on a first-half penalty-corner conversion by Ravi Pal and then thwarted the late fightback of defending champions P&SB to avenge their loss in the final last year.
India Colts were by far the best outfit on view this day. The A. K. Bansal-trained junior team have shown that the future of India hockey is encouraging as they exhibited their class.
ONGC could not match the nimble-footed youngsters whose short-passing and the use of flanks kept the opposition on their toes.
Mandeep Antil and Jai Karan created most of the opportunities for the Colts. The duo, with their speed and skillful dribbling upfront, left the ONGC defence in disarray.
Danish was the first to have a shot at the ONGC goal but could not pack enough power to beat the goalkeeper. A little later he was in a similar position when Antil beautifully dribbled down the sideline and centred the ball from the right. This time Danish made no mistake.
After ONGC goalkeeper Dinesh Ekka made some good saves, skipper Diwakar (26th minute) converted the first penalty corner of his team with a clean strike to make it 2-0 before the interval.
The Colts kept up the attacking tempo in the second half and Jai Karan capped his good work scoring in the 52nd minute.
ONGC, who looked too jaded and bereft of ideas, had two of their three penalty corners in the second half, but they could not convert any. Two minutes later Danish sounded the boards again.
In the other semifinal, both BP and P&SB had a fair share of chances but could not strike home. If BP was the better team in the first half, the bankmen turned the heat on in the second. Two players each from the two sides were shown the yellow card for unfair play. PSB’s Kulwinder Singh and Petroleum’s Gurpreet Singh were engaged in a heated exchanges and both were benched for 16 minutes in the second half.
The lone goal of the match came through Petroleum’s Ravi Pal when he converted their third penalty corner in the 24th minute.
The final is Tuesday 3pm
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