Akashdeep strikes help Punjab beat Mumbai in hockey Nationals

Akashdeep Singh struck twice to guide Hockey Punjab to a comfortable 4-0 win over Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd.

Akashdeep completed Mumbai's mauling with goals in the 58th and 60th minutes (File photo).   -  K. Murali Kumar

Akashdeep Singh struck twice to guide Hockey Punjab to a comfortable 4-0 win over Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd in the 9th Senior National Hockey Championship (Men) A Division here on Thursday.

It was Rupinderpal Singh who opened the scoring for Hockey Punjab in the 17th minute, while Sukhdev Singh scored in the 53rd minute to extend the lead to two goals.

Akashdeep then scored in the 58th and 60th minutes to complete the 4-0 drubbing.

Among others, Railway Sports Promotion Board, Association of Indian Universities, Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, Air India Sports Promotion Board and Hockey Odisha registered victories in their respective opening matches of the competition.

In a Pool A match, it was Association of Indian Universities who registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Hockey Chandigarh.

Raushan Kumar (23’) and Manjinder Singh (49’) scored the two goals for Association of Indian Universities, while it was Sanjay who scored Hockey Chandigarh’s only goal in the 58th minute.

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In Pool B’s first match, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board thrashed Hockey Bhopal 10-2.

PSPB started the match brightly and rushed to a comfortable 8-0 lead after 37 minutes and scored two more goals in the remaining stages to secure a 10-2 win.

Captain Mohd Khan (43', 57') scored the two goals for Hockey Bhopal.

Goals for Petroleum Sports Promotion Board were scored by Gurjinder Singh (28', 54'), Mandeep Singh (31', 35'), Lalit Upadhyay (10'), Harmanpreet Singh (16’), Varun Kumar (21’), Gurjant Singh (22’), Sumit Kumar (37’) and Devindar Walmiki (60’).

In the other Pool B encounter, Hockey Haryana and Comptroller & Auditor General of India played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw to start their tournament.

It was Comptroller & Auditor General of India who scored first in the 33rd minute through Mithlesh Kumar, but Hockey Haryana struck back six minutes later through their captain Bharat (39’) to equalise and split the points on the opening day.

In the first Pool C match, Railway Sports Promotion Board beat Hockey Gangpur-Odisha 5-3 in an entertaining encounter.

Goals for RSPB were scored by Dilpreet Singh (13’), Yuvraj Walmiki (19’), Sayyad Niyaz Rahim (39’), Nilakanta Sharma (51’) and Sheshe Gowda (60’), while Suman Kujur (31’), Stanly Minz (35’) and Rajen Kandulna (38’) sounded the board for Hockey Gangpur-Odisha.

In the other Pool C match, Uttar Pradesh Hockey registered a victory in its opening match as it defeated Punjab & Sind Bank by a slim margin of 1-0.

The only goal of the match came in the 36th minute as Sunil Yadav scored for Uttar Pradesh Hockey.

In the opening Pool D match, Air India Sports Promotion Board produced an emphatic victory over Hockey Karnataka 6-1.

Air India Sports Promotion Board rode on goals from Abharan Sudev (19’, 56’), Mohd. Faraz (9’), Mohammed Raheel Mouseen (31’), Arujun Sharma (40’) and Joga Singh (43’), while V.R. Raghunath (50’) scored the only goal for Hockey Karnataka.

In the other Pool D match, it was Hockey Odisha who defeated Namdhari XI 3-2. Goals for Hockey Odisha were scored by Krishna Tirkey (5’), Suraj Minz (19’) and Shilanand Lakra (35’), while Malak Singh (30’) and Lovepreet Singh (36’) found the back of the net for Namdhari XI.