Playing its first match of the Senior National men’s hockey championship here on Tuesday, favourite Punjab, with five current Indian Internationals in its ranks including captain Harmanpreet Singh, had to fight hard to pull off a 4-2 victory over Maharashtra in a Pool-D match.
Earlier in a Pool A tie, International Sanjay scored four times in Haryana’s 13-1 triumph over Chhatisgarh.
The match of the day and perhaps the best of the Nationals so far was the Punjab-Maharashtra clash. Never has a top team been challenged so capably as much as Maharashtra did.
The match went on an even keel till the third quarter (2-1). Punjab, however, showed its might in the final quarter scoring two goals through Dilpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh. Yuvraj Walmiki’s second goal came pretty late in the match for Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, three teams—Haryana (Pool A), Tamil Nadu (B) and Karnataka (C)—topped their groups and qualified for the quarterfinals.
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