Army XI in All-India MCC Murugappa Gold Cup semisSeptember 10th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Sept 10 (IANS) Army XI snatched an improbable 4-2 win against Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and qualified for the semi-finals from pool A in the 84th All-India MCC Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament, here Wednesday. Army XI finished their league programme with 10 points, the same as Air India who topped the pool on superior goal-difference.
Playing with determination, Army XI thus eliminated Bombay Gold Cup winners BPCL whose defense let in some soft goals that proved costly.
Chitaranjan (8th minute) and Sunil (13th) put Army XI in front before Amar Aiyamma (14th) and Hariprasad (27th) scored for BPCL to level the scores.
Army XI stepped up the pace and went 3-2 when veteran Ignace Tirkey scored in the 29th minute and then effectively sealed the game when Sunil scored in the 45th minute for a 4-2 lead.
BPCL, thus, suffered their first defeat, and ended up with seven points.
Earlier, Indian Overseas Bank eked out an unimpressive but crucial 4-1 win against Mumbai XI and the Indian Railways drew with Karnataka XI 1-1 in two pool A matches.
These results put three teams in contention for the two semi-final berths from this pool. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) currently occupy the top spots with seven points apiece, while Railways are on five.
While IOB completed their league engagements, IOCL are slated to play the Railways in a match that will decide the semi-finalists from pool A.
IOCL need only a draw to progress along with IOB while Railways need to win outright and in which case, they will top the pool. The goal-difference will then come into account to decide the tie between IOB and IOCL.
IOB scored through Senthil (41st, 48th) for a 2-0 lead. Mumbai pulled one back in the 53rd minute through Yuvraj Valmiki to give hopes of another fightback, but Adam Sinclair (62nd) and Vinod Rayar (70th) sealed the game in IOB’s favour.
Karnataka all but posted their first win when Muddappa scored in the 25th minute. They nursed the lead until the 67th when Chandla Kesu equalised for Railways.