Bengaluru: A sensational comeback by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) in the dying minutes of the match ensured they drew 5-5 against nemesis Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) in a high-scoring Pool A encounter here at the Dolo-650 Bangalore Cup All India Hockey Tournament 2019 (Men) on Tuesday.
It was late goals by Bengaluru lad Abharan Sudev (57′) and Mohd. Amir Khan (59′) that toppled a strong 5-3 lead posted by IOCL through goals by Affan Yousaf (3′), Talwinder Singh (8′), Gurjinder Singh (14′ & 20′) and Sumit Kumar (42′).
The high-voltage match lived up to the billing with both teams showcasing aggression in their pursuit from hooter-to-hooter. First-quarter saw IOCL strikers Talwinder Singh and Affan Yousaf work a lethal combination in the forward line to earn a splendid 2-0 lead within eight minutes from start time. Though an infringement by IOCL defenders in the circle gave away a penalty stroke which was well-converted by Devinder Walmiki and narrowed IOCL lead to 2-1, goals by drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh (14′ & 20′) ensured IOCL stayed in the 4-2 lead despite BPCL forward Amir Khan’s 18th-minute goal.
The third quarter saw BPCL make amends to a poor start as they stitched together a tight defence while their forwards worked in tandem to create potential circle entries. In the 39th minute, unmarked Shilanand Lakra picked up a good assist by Dipsan Tirkey to score from the top of the circle. The following minutes saw Sumit Kumar score from a rebound that came off the BPCL goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya’s pads after he defended Yuvraj Walmiki’s shot on goal. The 42nd-minute goal ensured IOCL stayed ahead 5-3 but poor finishing and lacklustre defence saw them concede two crucial goals in the final quarter, making them settle for a draw.
In another fiercely-fought Pool B match, Army XI backed by boisterous crowd support overcame a stiff challenge from Air India, Mumbai to beat them 5-3. It was Army XI who made a dominating start with a 3-0 lead following goals by Prathap Shindhe (8′), Rajant Rajput (14′) and Binay Bengra (20′). Air India bounced back with an improvised attack to score in the 26th minute through Arjun Sharma and kept up the tempo in the third quarter as they struck back-to-back goals in the 39th and 41st minute through star striker Shivendra Singh. But a tiring Air India team were a no-match to Army XI’s fitness and grit as they held their nerves till the final hooter. Missing PCs added to Air India’s woes while Army XI marched to victory with crucial goals in the 50th minute and 59th minute through Rajant Rajput and Siraju Alira respectively.
- Match 7: IOCL (Affan Yousaf 3′, Talwinder Singh 8′, Gurjinder Singh 14′, Gurjinder Singh 20′, Sumit Kumar 42′) drew with BPCL (Devinder Walmiki 10′, Mohd. Amir Khan 20′, Shilanand Lakra 39′, Abharan Sudev 57′, Mohd Amir Khan 59′) 5-5
- Match 8: Army XI (Prathap Shindhe 8′, Rajant Rajput 14′ & 50′, Binay Bengra 20′, Siraju Alira 59′) beat Air India, Mumbai (Arjun Sharma 26′, Shivendra Singh 39′ & 41′ ) 5-3
- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd Vs All India Customs at 2 PM
- Hockey Karnataka Vs Army XI at 4 PM