Karnataka stun fancied PNB


KP Somaiah’s strike in the 61st minute for Karnataka proved to be the difference against PNB, who paid dearly for their wastefulness in front of the goal.

Earlier, South Central Railway (SCR) thumped Army XI 5-2 in the other men’s game.

Skipper MG Poonacha starred with a brace for SCR (7th, 54th minutes) while Gagandeep Singh (27th), Kusha JP (35th), Ranjan Aiyappa (64th) each contributed with a goal. For Army, Siraju AP (1st) and Pawal Lakra (8th) got into the scoresheet.

PNB, fresh after their triumph in the Bengaluru Super Hockey League last week, began in a dominant fashion and deservedly won a penalty corner in the seventh minute. But Karnataka custodian Jagdeep Dayal made a good save to deny Gagandeep Singh’s drag flick.

Karnataka had a chance of their own few minutes later when Pradhan Somanna and Nithin Thimmaiah combined to split open the defence, but couldn’t get past the PNB goalkeeper, who came out of his line to deny Thimmaiah from close range.

Karnataka then enjoyed a brief period of dominance before PNB regained control of the match in the closing stages of the first half. Winning a penalty corner in the 27th minute, Gagandeep yet again failed to put the ball past Jagdeep in the Karnataka goal.

PNB restarted the game in an aggressive manner and made several attempts to score but couldn’t get past Jagdeep, who was equal to the task and kept Karnataka in the game.

Against the run of play, Karnataka finally broke the deadlock from a penalty corner in the 61st minute. Though the PNB goalkeeper did well to block a Darshan effort, he had no answer as the defender did well to find Somaiah, who pushed the ball past the ‘keeper for the goal.

Results: Men: Hockey Karnataka: 1 (KP Somiah 61st) bt PNB: 0; SCR: 5 (MG Poonacha 7th, 54th, Gagandeep Singh 27th, Kusha JP 35th, Ranjan Aiyappa 64th) bt Army XI: 2 (Siraju AP 1st, Pawal Lakra 8th).

Women: Hockey Haryana: 5 (Priya 15th, Poonam 18th, Saroj 54th, Deepika 56th, Manisha 67th) bt Hockey Odisha: 0; South Eastern Railway: 2 (Alka Dung Dung 53rd, 55th) bt Hockey Karnataka: 0.

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