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GTB Gold Cup: Punjab cops recover to sink Navy (9/14/2017)
--s2h team
Mumbai, September 14: Twice in arrears Punjab Police, Jalandhar recovered to overcome Indian Navy, Mumbai 4-3 in a in an absorbing Pool-A league match of the 13th PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament, played at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate on Thursday afternoon.

The Punjab cops first trailed 0-2, but showing plenty of resilience they fought back and draw level at 2-all. They once again conceded the lead to the Mumbai Super League champions Navy, but yet again they bounced back with some strong play to score two more goals to snatch the lead and finish on a winning note.

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Punjab Police and South Central Railway, both with six points each have qualified for the semi-finals from this pool. They meet in the concluding pool match on Saturday and the outcome will decide which team tops the pool.

Navy started with a flourish and struck two quick goals from field efforts in a span of five minutes. In the 18th minute Ved Prakash sounded the boards and later Mohit Thakur scored the second to give the sailor a 2-0 cushion.

However, the policemen from Punjab came roaring back and scored from two quick penalty corners on either side of the break to restore parity. First international Harbir Singh’s direct hit went in off the goalkeeper’s pads in the 35th minute and in the second minute of resumption Pawandeep Singh scored with an angular hit following an indirect penalty corner drill.

Indian Navy continued to press forward and managed to regain the lead through another field goal scored through A.K. Goswami in the 40th minute. But eight minutes later the Punjab cops once again found the equaliser when Sarvanjit Singh converted a penalty stroke, which was awarded to the cops by umpire Javed Shaikh after a Navy defender deliberately stopped the ball with his foot. Punjab Police got the winning goal following a fine combined move with captain and Olympian Gurbaj Singh tapping home teammate and Olympian Dharamvir’s square pass from the left in the 67th minute.

Later in the evening, Army XI, Bengaluru produced a solid fighting display to overcome Central Railway, Mumbai in a Pool-B encounter. For the Armymen the goals were scored by Binay Bhengra (20th min), Rahul Kumar Yadav (44th-min), Chandan Aind (55th min) and Vinod Yadav (68th min), while Central Railway scored through Vinod Nair (16th min) and Rajendra Pawar (70th min).

Results: Pool A: Punjab Police 4 (Harbir Sandhu 35th-PC, Pawandeep Singh 37th-PC, Sarvanjit Singh 48th-PS, Gurbaj Singh 67th) beat Indian Navy 3 (Ved Prakash 18th, Mohit Thakur 23rd, A.K. Goswami 40th).

Pool B: Army XI 4 (Binay Bhengra 20th, Rahul Kumar Yadav 44th-PC, Chandan Aind 55th-PC, Vinod Yadav 68th) beat Central Railway 2 (Vinod Nair 16th, Rajendra Pawar 70th).

Friday schedule:

2.30 pm: Pool A: Indian Navy Vs BPCL
4.30 pm: Pool B: Army XI Vs Indian Oil

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