PUNE: Prolific scorer Kunal Jagdale yet again came in handy when he scored the second goal in Pune City Police’s 3-1 semifinal win over the State Reserve Police Force in the 114th Aga Khan Cup all-India Hockey Tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand Poligras Stadium in Nehrunagar, Pimpri, here on Friday.
In the second semi-final Lucknow defeated Bhopal 7-1 as the strong team from Uttar Pradesh set up the summit clash against Pune City Police that will be played on Saturday afternoon.
In the all-Police first semi-final, Pune City Police emerged triumphant thanks to their tight defence that thwarted SRPF’s manoeuvres early on in the first half of the game.
Pune City Police took the early lead when Gaurav Kamble converted the very first penalty corner the team earned in the match.
The 11th minute penalty corner was pushed in by Ganesh Girigosavi and Kamble made no mistakes in finding the target to put city police 1-0 ahead.
The SRPF was not to be discounted as they too created chances and finally won their first penalty corner 11 minutes after going down by Kamble’s goal.
For the SRPF Shrikant Kulkarni took a push in and Ashish Chopde struck home for 1-1 score-line in the 22nd minute as the match entered the crucial phase. Pune City Police were spurred by Kunal Jagdale’s 32nd minute goal, which came on a pass from Umesh Phulgham that put them 2-1 ahead.
Ram Baramatikar, who had found the target in the quarterfinals too, then scored the winning goal on a pass from Jagdish Kasture in the 42nd minute as Pune City Police made their way into the final.
Pune City Police won mainly because of their better defence line and also that they were able to convert 50 percent of the penalty corners, while the SRPF wasted two of the three penalty corners they earned.
LUCKNOW IN FINAL
The second semifinal witnessed, Harish playing for the Lucknow team scoring three goals, one in the first half and two goals in the second as the Uttar Pradesh team romped to a 7-1 win over Bhopal.
Lucknow scored almost at will with the first goal coming in the third minute through Sanchit who converted a pass from Saurab to put his team 1-0 ahead.
Saurab scored five minutes later when Akhil set him up in the eighth minute then Lucknow went 3-0 up when Vijay converted a penalty corner on push taken by Kuldeep. Bhopal reduced the margin in 14th minute through Zaheer before Harish found his first goal in the 20th minute. But it was all over for Bhopal as Lucknow wielded strong hand and went out to score three more goals to complete a 7-1 win.
KIDS XI IN GIRLS FINAL
Kids XI stormed into the Girls final against St Clares High School after scoring a 1-0 victory over Azam Campus in the second semifinal played on Friday.
Kids XI rode on to Rukshada’s 21st minute goal to defeat opponents Azam Campus after the two teams began the match tentatively testing each other in the first half of the match before Rukshada and Rucha made the crucial move, which changed the course of the match.
In the 21st minute of the game, Rucha move up with the ball before setting Rukshada in the middle.
Having wasted four penalty corners earlier on, Rukshada quickly collected the ball and turned towards the goal and slammed it into the post to put her team 1-0 ahead, which eventually turned out to be the winning goal.
Soon after Azam Campus created an opportunityas they earned their second penalty corner of the match, but failed to convert after having also wasted the first in the seventh minute.
Pune City Police 3 (Gaurav Kamble 11th, Kunal Jagdale 32nd, Ram Baramatikar 42nd) bt SRPF 1 (Ashish Chopde 22nd).
Lucknow 7 (Sanchit 3rd, Saurab 8th, Vijay 10th, Harish 20th,55th, 58th, Mukesh 26th) bt Bhopal 1 (Zaheer 14th).
Semi-final: Kids XI 1 (Rukshada 21st) beat Azam Campus 0.