Spirited IOCL beat Army XI 5-0 to win Bangalore Cup

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IOCL’s Affan Yousaf named best player of the tournament while fellow-striker Talwinder Singh (7 goals) wins highest scorer award

Hockey Karnataka felicitate Olympian Manuel Frederick on being recommended for the Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime achievement

Bengaluru, August 18: Having won the Bangalore Super Division only a fortnight ago, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd made it a sweet double as they lived up to the billing by defeating Army XI 5-0 to lift the  Dolo-650 Bangalore Cup All India Hockey Tournament 2019 (Men) here on Sunday.

It was goals by Sumit Kumar (20′), Gurjinder Singh (24′), Yuvraj Walmiki (35′), Dharamvir Singh (37′) and Talwinder Singh (52′) that ensured IOCL’s victory.

IOCL Coach Deepak Thakur receives winners’ cheque of INR 4 lakh

The high-voltage Final encounter began with IOCL making an attacking start as they created an early PC in the opening minute of the match. A good variation by Skipper VR Raghunath to striker Talwinder Singh who got a good deflection was padded away by Army XI goalkeeper Akash Chikte. IOCL continued to build on their attack with good pace and their forwards had little issues in penetrating the striking circle but an alert Army XI’s defence particularly the efforts of Sudhakar Thalwar ensured they did not concede an early goal. Army XI, meanwhile, created a PC in the 7th minute but IOCL goalie Pankaj Kumar Rajak did well to keep Jonny Jasrotia from scoring. He made yet another save in the 9th minute when Siraju Alira took the second PC awarded to Army XI.

Army XI continued to fritter away chances in the second quarter that cost them dear but IOCL did no such thing when they were awarded a PC in the 20th minute. VR Raghunath’s clever variation to Sumit Kumar enabled him to get a perfect deflection into the goal beating Chikte. They doubled the lead to 2-0 in the 24th minute when a good variation by Vikram Kant ensured dragflicker Gurjinder Singh beat the first rusher to score. The 2-0 lead put Army XI under tremendous pressure that gave way to crucial defensive errors.

IOCL capitalised Army XI’s setback as they went all guns blazing in the following quarter with their forwards working some incredible passes to beat Army XI defenders and make their way into the circle. The effort helped them score goals in the 35th and 37th minute putting their team in formidable 4-0 lead.

Army XI receive runner-sup cheque of INR 2 lakh

It was heartening to see Army XI’s Rajnesh Salaria and Siraju narrowly miss shots on goal while the dragflickers failed to convert from as many as four PCs. IOCL, on the other hand, kept the tempo up to score another goal in the 52nd minute through Talwinder Singh as they wrapped up the match with a brilliant 5-0 win and also walked away with the cash bounty of INR 4,00,000 while runners-up Army XI were awarded INR 2,00,000.

Roll of Honour/ Individual awards: Fair Play award: Indian Navy

Outstanding goalkeeper: Pankaj Kumar Rajak (IOCL)

Best defender: Palangappa I.E (Indian Navy)

Best midfielder: Somaiah (Hockey Karnataka)

Best forward: Rajant Rajput (Army XI)

Highest scorer: Talwinder Singh (IOCL)

Best player of the tournament: Affan Yousaf (IOCL)

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