Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003
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Down in the third minute, when Bikramjit Singh scored for Indian Oil, off a penalty corner, PSB did enough after that to run out winner. Yet, not till the equaliser, in the 20th minute of the second half, did the bank team look like splitting points. In the end, with less than a minute left for the hooter, full back Jatinder Pal Singh drove home a penalty corner to clinch victory for the Jalandhar bankmen.
Till then, PSB had wasted half a dozen penalty corners and a few other clear-cut openings. A few of the PSB attempts were handled effectively by Indian Oil's India goalkeeper, Devesh Chauhan; a few others never bore fruit because of the wayward finish. Ravi Pal and Rajwinder Singh were guilty of spurning easy chances with some wild swings.
PSB's equaliser was a fine effort by Ajit Pal Singh, almost sprawling on his follow-through as he connected a cross from the right by Sandeep Singh.
For a team that had a few big names including Deepak Thakur in the frontline and Viren Rasquinha in the middle, Indian Oil played listlessly for long spells after its early lead. Rasquinha did impress at the pivotal position but Thakur looked lost much of the time.
In a pool `B' match, Tamil Nadu XI found the going surprisingly easy against Namdhari XI and won 3-0. Arumugam provided the lead to Tamil Nadu following a penalty corner in the 17th minute. Late in the second half, Alfred Asir, off a penalty corner, and Arumugam again, put the issue beyond doubt.
In a pool `D' match, Air India beat Indian Navy 2-1 after being down by a goal in the 19th minute. M. M. Lokhande put Navy ahead, while Dulla Singh equalised three minutes from the interval. Devinder Kumar scored the match-winner for Air India nine minutes into the second half.
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