Pune: Hockey Bengal, Utttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu and Hockey Maharashtra made it to the quarterfinals in the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship Pimpri Chinchwad 2021 at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Thursday.
The seven teams who have qualified for the knockouts include Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Chandigarh and Punjab.
In a goal-fest morning session wherein 33 goals were recorded in two matches in Pool-F, Hockey Bengal won the race to the knockouts at the expense of Hockey Association of Odisha.
With both teams’ level on points and goal difference, the last two matches in the pool were all about the final scorelines. Playing first, Hockey Odisha walked out 14-0 winners against Goans Hockey with Sushil Dhanwar netting six goals.
Sushil netted in the 5th, 6th, 9th, 12th, 12th in the first half, which was the quickest hat-trick of the tournament so far. He added another goal in 45th minute to complete half a dozen.
Next-up, Hockey Bengal worked to their target with a 19-0 win over Hockey Gujarat. The highlight of the win being a 7-goal feat by Abhishek Pratap Singh (2nd, 12th, 14th, 25th, 34th, 37th, 39th) the highest by a Bengal player. Interestingly, all goals scored by Abhishek came off penalty-corner conversions.
At the end of both matches, Bengal and Odisha finished with 7 points each, but Bengal went through with a better goal difference (+5)
Later, Uttar Pradesh downed Assam Hockey 6-0 in Pool-G to make the last-8. Uttar Pradesh ended with an all-win record and logged 9 points. Assam Hockey finished winless.
For Uttar Pradesh, Mohd. Amir Khan (1st, 7th), Mohd. Saif Khan (8th, 43rd), Rishabh Sahu (21st) and Deepak Patel (50th) scored.
Later, Hockey Jharkhand pipped Kerala Hockey 2-1 to take the second spot in Pool-G. A goal each by Rajendra Oram (36th) and Sandeep Minj (52nd) put Jharkhand ahead before Kerala Hockey pulled one back through Ajeesh Reji (59th). For Jharkhand, the win was their second and helped them finish with 6 points. Kerala (3 points) took the third spot.
In Pool-A, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu topped and moved to the last-8 stage. In their last pool match, they downed Hockey Himachal 11-0. Karthi S (9th, 11th, 37th, 39th, 43rd) netted five goals to power Tamil Nadu through.
Tamil Nadu finished their Pool-A matches unbeaten and logged 6 points, Himachal (4 points) finished runners-up.
In the afternoon session, Hockey Maharashtra moved into the last 8 forcing their third win.
Hockey Maharashtra later spanked Hockey Bihar 5-1 with all goals coming from successful penalty-corner conversions.
The first was from defender Pratap Shinde (14th) who beat the Bihar keeper with a clean and powerful push into the roof of the goal off the first penalty corner they forced.
Bihar began cautiously and in fact put the hosts on the backfoot forcing three penalty corners before conceding a goal at their end.
In the second half, Maharashtra struck off the sixth penalty-corner they forced through an angular drive-by Tikaram Thakulla (37th). Maharashtra added two more goals through back-to-back goals by Pratap Shinde (41st & 42nd) who netted off the eight and tenth penalty-corners to make it 4-0.
Venkatesh Kenche (43rd) made it 5-0 with yet another successfully converted penalty corner.
Bihar scored a consolation through Uday Bara (60th).
Maharashtra finished their campaign with 9 points and handed Bihar (6 points) their first loss.
Chhattisgarh Hockey downed Hockey Mizoram 6-1 to take third place in the pool.
Pool-F: Odisha: 14 (Sushil Dhanwar 5th, 6th, 9th, 12th, 12th, 45th; Mangra Bhengra 7th, 22nd; Patras Tirkey 20th; Abhisek Lakra 28th; Prakash Barla 36th, Prasad Kujur 47th; Biju Ekka 58th; Ajay Kumar Ekka 60th) bt Goans Hockey: 0. HT: 9-0
Pool-F: Hockey Bengal: 19 (Abhishek Pratap Singh 2nd, 12th, 14th, 25th, 34th, 37th, 39th; Raushan Kumar 9th, 38th; Avoy Ekka 16th; Kunjan Topno 18th, 30th; Nitish Neupane 21st, 35th, 53rd; Sanjay Paswan 26th; Saurabh Kumar Singh 44th, Taranveer Singh 47th, 54th) bt Hockey Gujarat: 0. HT: 10-0
Pool-G: Uttar Pradesh Hockey: 6 (Mohd. Amir Khan 1st, 7th; Mohd. Saif Khan 8th, 43rd; Rishabh Sahu 21st; Deepak Patel 50th) bt Assam Hockey: 0, HT: 4-0
Pool-G: Hockey Jharkhand: 2 (Rajendra Oram 36th; Sandeep Minj 52nd) bt Kerala Hockey: 1 (Ajeesh Reji 59th), HT: 0-0
Pool-A: Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu: 11 (Karthi S 9th, 11th, 37th, 39th, 43rd; Sundarapandi 29th, 35th, 47th; Pruthvi G.M 33rd; Shanmugam P 42nd, Silver Stalin S 53rd) bt Hockey Himachal: 0, HT: 3-0
Pool-H: Chhattisgarh Hockey: 6 (Kartik Yadav 1st, 35th; Junaid Ahmed 40th, 42nd, 51st; Shukdev Nirmalkar 45th) bt Hockey Mizoram: 1 (Lalremdika 29th) HT: 1-1
Pool-H: Hockey Maharashtra: 5 (Pratap Shinde 14th, 41st, 42nd; Tikaram Thakulla 37th; Venkatesh Kenche 43rd) bt Hockey Bihar: 1 (Uday Bara 60th) HT: 1-0