IOC thrashes Indian Railways to lift Murugappa Gold Cup

Roshan Minz, Gurjinder Singh, Talwinder Singh and Bharath Chikara scored as IOC trounced Indian Railways 4-0 in a lopsided final.

IOC team after winning the Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament.   -  M. VEDHAN

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) saved its best for the final as it comprehensively beat Indian Railways 4-0 to lift the 92nd edition of the Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium here on Sunday.

IOC was sharp with its passing game from the start and came close to scoring in the first ten minutes. In the 14th minute, a switch play from left to right helped Roshan Minz to finish at far post with a reverse hit. After managing to convert just two off eight corners in the semifinal, IOC scored off the first two corners through Gurjinder Singh (18’) and Talwinder Singh (21’) as IOC took an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Railways went for a goalkeeper change immediately, but its rattled defence did not help custodian Amrit Pal Singh’s cause. Bharath Chikara and Manpreet Singh went close twice for IOC as it ended a dominant first half with a 3-0 lead.

In the second half, IOC stationed itself in the final fourth of the pitch, but Railways’ forwards were unable to get past IOC’s crowded penalty area. However, Railways won three corners in a row in the 43rd and 44th minute, but was let down by wayward shooting.

Railways’ numbers in the attacking half proved to be its undoing as IOC forward Chikara made it 4-0 in the 52nd minute by controlling a long ball over the defence to finish at the far post.

Railways went close on three more occasions from open play and a corner in the 54th minute, but was unable to score as IOC sealed a memorable win.

IOC coach Deepak Thakur felt that keeping faith in his players despite few bad performances has contributed in winning the big final.

“I kept encouraging the players that they can do this. The starting XI today contained players who did not do well in the previous matches. I asked Bharath (Chikara) and Manpreet (Singh), to take the responsibility for the big occasion and they delivered,” the two-time Olympian said.

Final Result:

IOC (Roshan Minz 14’, Gurjinder Singh 18’, Talwinder Singh 21’, Bharath Chikara 52’) beat Indian Railways (0).