Alden DSouza struck twice as three time champions Mumbai overcame Haryana 3-2 to regain the 63rd Rangaswamy Cup senior national mens hockey championship at the floodlit Aishbagh Stadium here on Sunday.
Mumbai were severely challenged by a determined Haryana,eager to lay their hands on the prestigious title in their maiden attempt. Mumbai shot into lead with DSouzas reverse hit from the edge of the circle on the left,piercing through a stunned Haryana defence in the 22nd minute.
Haryana retaliated by a flurry of attacks in the next few minutes. They earned their first penalty corner in the next minute but Surendra Kumar hit wide; in the 26th minute,Naveen Antil hit a weak shot off Sandeep Kumars pass that Mumbai goalkeeper Sudhir Dixit cleared away to safety. Mumbai,who last won in 1989,earned their second penalty corner seven minutes after break and Gursevak found the net to give his side a comfortable cushion.
Haryana bounced back with Munish Rana reducing the margin in a goalmouth melee in the 44th minute. But DSouza restored the lead.
In the third place play-off,Tamil Nadu finished ahead of Chandigarh 3-2 but TN captain Adam Sinclair was banned for the next edition of the tournament. The match began after a scuffle between the Tamil Nadu players,led by Sinclair,and some of the officials and the groundsmen after the players were asked to change the dug-out. The fracas delayed the start of the match by 30-minutes and tournament director Peter Menezes banned Sinclair.