Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey: Central Secretariat, Punjab National Bank make semis

On Saturday, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will take on Central Secretariat (CS) in the first semifinal of the 2019 Murugappa Gold Cup, while Indian Navy will face Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the next last-four fixture.

Pardeep Mor (right) of Central Secretariat makes a save off a shot from Ranjot Singh of Punjab and Sind Bank during the 93rd All India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey Tournament.   -  M Vedhan

Central Secretariat (CS) booked a place in the semifinals with a 4-2 win over Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) in the 2019 Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Thursday at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai. Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank (PNB) also sealed a semis berth after it drew 3-3 with defending champion Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) in its final group game.

With a semis spot at stake, both PSB and CS began aggressively as Harmanjit Singh opened the scoring for the latter in the 13th minute with a good finish at the near post. CS came out all guns blazing in the second quarter as skipper Govind Singh Rawat pulled his side level in the 19th minute. Dharmanbir Yadav (24’) and Gaurav Kumar Singh (30’) scored in the space of six minutes to put CS in the driving seat.

READ| Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey: Final stage of group games hit by red card, power failure

PSB showed urgency after the break and pushed higher up the pitch. In the 35th minute, Satbir Singh got on the end of Harmanpreet Singh’s through ball to finish from point-blank. Adrenaline ran high as a rough tackle by Parvinder Singh on Indian international Pardeep Mor led to a confrontation between the duo. The umpire was forced to reach out for his yellow card as both teams were a man down for five minutes.

PSB dragflicker Gaganpreet Singh wasted two penalty corners while Umar Mohammed’s goal in the 39th minute was ruled out for a stick check on the goal keeper. CS stretched its lead to two goals in the 55th minute when Mohammed deflected a penalty corner variation at the near post to seal a semifinal berth.

PNB needed a draw in its final group match to qualify for the semis as it took on defending champion IOC. The holder led thrice through Arman Qureshi’s (6’) opening goal and Gurjinder Singh’s (16’, 33’) brace. PNB kept pace with IOC as Abhishek (8’), Sumit Toppo (20’) levelled the scores twice. Indian international Mandeep Mor scored PNB's third equaliser with a 50th minute dragflick to secure spot in the semifinal.

Semifinal Schedule

Semifinal 1: India Oil Corporation Ltd vs Central Secretariat - 4 pm, Saturday

Semifinal 2: Indian Navy vs Punjab National Bank – 6 pm, Saturday

Results

Pool A – Indian Oil Corporation 3 (Armaan Qureshi 6’, Gurjinder Singh 16’, 33’) drew with Punjab National Bank (Abhishek 8’, Sumit Toppo 20’, Mandeep Mor 50’)

Pool B – Central Secretariat 4 (Govind Singh Rawat 19’, Dharambir Yadav 24’, Gaurav Kumar Singh 30’, Umar Mohammed 55’) beat Punjab and Sind Bank 2 (Harmanjit Singh 13’, Satbir Singh 35’)