Hockey Nationals | Punjab fights hard to pull off victory over Maharashtra 

Off the mark: Jugraj slots in Punjab’s first goal against Maharashtra.
| Photo Credit: RAGU R

Favourite Punjab, playing its first match of the Senior National men’s hockey championship here on Tuesday, with five current internationals in its ranks including Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh, had to fight hard to pull off a 4-2 victory over Maharashtra in a Pool-D match.

In the last match of the day, Amit Rohidas’s hat-trick enabled Odisha defeat Delhi 8-1 in a Pool H tie. Earlier, Sanjay scored four times in Haryana’s 13-1 victory over Chhatisgarh.

The match of the day and perhaps the best of the Nationals so far was the Punjab versus Maharashtra clash as a top team been never been challenged so much.

The match went on an even keel till the third quarter. Punjab, however, showed its might in the final quarter scoring two goals through Dilpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh that literally took the contest away from Maharashtra. Yuvraj Walmiki’s second goal came pretty late in the match for Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, three teams — Haryana (Pool A), Tamil Nadu (B) and Karnataka (C) — topped their groups and qualified for the quarterfinals.

The results:

Pool A: Haryana 13 (Sanjay 10, 17, 50, 54, Rajant 4, 47, Kohinoorpreet Singh 27, 39, 56, Deepak 41, 59, Abhishek 43, Mukul Sharma 60) bt Chhattisgarh 1 (Karthik Yadav 49).

Pool D: Punjab 4 (Jugraj Singh 26, Simranjeet Singh 41, Dilpreet Singh 51, Harmanpreet Singh 54) bt Maharashtra 2 (Yuvraj Walmiki 20, 59).

Pool G: UP 3 (Manish Yadav 25, Sunil Yadav 37, Faraz Mohd. 53) bt Le Puducherry 2 (T. Arun 46, 55); Kerala 2 (Sadhik 12, C. Abhinav 49) drew with Rajasthan 2 (Shoyab Akhtar 36, 39).

Pool H: Odisha 8 (Amit Rohidas 1, 4, 33, Rajin Kandulna 13, Ashis Kumar Topno 24, 32, Nilam Sanjeev Xess 37, Shilanand Lakra 58) bt Delhi 1 (Aman Khan 11).

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