National Hockey: Karnataka, Jharkhand enter last 8

Pune: Karnataka and Jharkhand completed the quarterfinals line-up by winning their concluding league matches in the third Hockey India senior men’s national championship here today.

In the crucial Group C league match, Hockey Karnataka scored a 4-2 win over Services Sports Control Board to make the last eight cut.

SK Utthappa scored a field goal in the 17th minute followed by Mohan Muthana’s right flick in the 23rd minute gave Karnataka a 2-0 lead at half time.

On resumption, MG Ponnacha found the mark in the 39th minute as Karnataka jumped to a 3-0 advantage. However, Services kept their composure and Johnny Jasrotia scored in the 48th minute to reduce the margin before MB Aiyyappa made it 4-1 for Karnataka in the 58th minute.

Veteran Ignace Tirkey immediately replied for Services who however could not make up the two-goal deficit and crashed out of the tournament.

Hockey Jharkhand who had to win their last league encounter, did so with gusto as they beat Hockey Himachal Pradesh 3-1 to take the last eight spot from Group E. Anil Xaxa (14th, 49th) scored twice for Jharkhand after Shashi Topno opened the account in the sixth. For Himachal, Udham Preet Singh (11th) struck the lone goal.

In the quarter-final matches to be played Saturday, Air India will take on Railways Sports Control Board while Haryana who made the grade from Group D on better goal difference edging out Andaman and Nicobar, face Chandigarh, holders Punjab clash with Jharkhand and Karnataka go up against Manipur.

Other results (league):

Group C: Sports Authority of India 22 beat Goa Hockey 1. Group A: Hockey Association of Indian Universities 6 beat Hockey Delhi 1. Group E: Comptroller & Auditor General 6 beat Hockey Bengal 1.


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