IOCL advance into Murugappa Gold Cup hockey semis

July 20th, 2010 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 20 (IANS) Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) eased to a 3-0 win against Hockey India Juniors to advance to the semi-finals of the 86th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here Tuesday.

The experienced IOCL did little of note barring the three goals they scored through Deepak Thakur (1st minute), Hamza Mujtaba (49th) and Roshan Minz (64th) as it was the Colts who played better but lacked the experience and the muscle to convert their chances.

IOCL, with nine points, are assured of a semi-final berth while the Juniors remained on four points from three outings.

Earlier, Punjab National Bank surged back into contention with a comfortable, if not commanding, 3-0 win against Southern Railway for their second win in three outings.

Thakur’s stunner in the very first minute when the wily former India star put home a pass from Mujtaba, promised plenty of action from IOCL, but then the Juniors showed a lot of character to shrug off the setback.

The Colts, in fact, dominated the proceedings with some eye-catching ball rotation marked by one touch passing to trouble IOCL. However, for all the pretty moves they made, the Juniors were rather shoddy at the finish where their poor passing and positional play let them down.

IOCL had their moments but schoolboy goalkeeper Naveen Kumar stood up well to the onslaughts with quality saves before the oilmen breached the defence with an indirect penalty corner conversion by Mujtaba and then Minz cut in from the right to find the boards for the third goal.

Goals by Jalwinder Singh (34th), Bruno Logun (42nd) and Nitin Kumar (65th) set up the PNB victory while local champions Southern Railway looked woefully ill-equipped in the defence and crashed to their third consecutive defeat.

In fact, all the three PNB scorers were left free to receive passes from the right wing. Logun found Jalwinder in front of the goal for a deflection before himself knocking in a Yudhvir Singh cross and a Jalwinder-pass put Nitin in possession for the third goal.

Southern Railway did make a few penetrations, but the forwards were far too slow in the striking zone to be effective and repeatedly bungled when in position to make an attempt.

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