Murugappa Gold Cup: PSB wins eleven-goal thriller against BHA; Navy, IOC play out 1-1 draw

Ashish Kumar Sharma scored four goals as Punjab and Sind Bank beat Bengaluru Hockey Association 6-5 to keep its semis chances alive, while IOC managed a 1-1 draw against Indian Navy on day six of the Murugappa Gold Cup.

Action from the Murugappa Gold Cup clash between Indian Navy and Indian Oil Corporation on Tuesday.   -  R. Ravindran

Indian Navy was held to a 1-1 draw by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) after a contentious penalty stroke in the 60th minute helped Gurjinder Singh equalise for IOC, while Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) won 6-5 against a resilient Bengaluru Hockey Association (BHA) in a thoroughly-entertaining match on Tuesday in the Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey tournament.

Against an IOC team comprising of ten Indian internationals, including four Olympians, Indian Navy survived a tomahawk reverse hit from Talwinder Singh in the fourth minute and kept out a fierce dragflick from Gurjinder in the sixth minute.

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In the 18th minute, Jugraj Singh sent a brilliant drag flick into the roof of the net to give Navy a 1-0 lead. IOC struggled against Navy’s pacy forwards and in the 34th minute, seasoned defender V. R. Raghunath was shown a yellow card for bringing down Sunny Malik just outside the 18-yard line.

In the second half, IOC pinned Navy deep in its own half, but was unable to score against a defence which held its lines perfectly. The side, however, equalised in the 60th minute through Gurjinder's penalty stroke which sparked furious reactions from the Navy players given the circumstances leading to the decision.

Eleven goal encounter

The second match of the day played between PSB and BHA saw as many as eleven goals being scored at both ends. In the 12th minute, Ashish Kumar Sharma scored off a rebound after BHA goalkeeper Atal Dev Singh saved the initial penalty corner. BHA equalised the very next minute through a perfect dragflick from Pratap Lakra, but Parvinder Singh put PSB back in the lead in the 16th minute from open play.

M. B. Cariappa struck stunning equaliser for BHA from the edge of the circle in the 22nd minute as Ashish made it 3-2 for PSB in the 32nd minute. In the final minute of the first half, BHA equalised for the third time, when P. L. Thimanna scored into an empty net after Sandeep Kumar Singh’s pass beat the PSB defence.

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Onkar Singh restored PSB’s lead in the 38th minute, when he shot from the edge of the circle following a cleverly-executed corner. BHA did not stay behind for long as Lakra’s 43rd minute dragflick made it 4-4. In the next minute, BHA took the lead for the first time in the match as Kusha Gowda scored of a M. G. Poonacha pass.

But Ashish completed his hat-trick in the 46th minute and scored his fourth in the 57th minute to steer PSB to a memorable 6-5 victory.