Namdhari XI defeated Rajasthan 3-1 in their last Pool A league match to storm into the semifinals of the 4th Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championship (B Division) at Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow.
Rajasthan’s Saif Ali Khan opened the scoring in the 29th minute but Santa Singh scored the equaliser just six minutes later through a penalty-stroke. In the 42nd minute, Bhagat Singh Dhillon made full use of a penalty-corner awarded to Namdhari XI. Santa netted another goal in the 65th minute of the play to make the score 3-1 in favour of the Namdhari XI.
In the second match, Mumbai settled for a 1-1 draw against Jammu & Kashmir. Amrinder Singh (53rd minute) found the target for Jammu & Kashmir while Kuldeep (63rd minute) netted the goal for Mumbai. By virtue of occupying the top spot in the points table, Mumbai have made it to the semifinals from Pool B.
Two more league matches were held on Monday. The Pool A match between Bihar and Sashashtra Seema Bal ended in a 5-5 draw, while Himachal Pradesh outclassed Uttarakhand 2-1 in a Pool B match. The semifinals of B Division will be played on March 12.
Meanwhile, the Hockey Nationals’ second phase will commence from Tuesday. The Division A of the championships will go on till March 23.
The 20 teams in the Division A will be divided into four pools of five teams each.
Wednesday’s Fixtures: 1st semifinal: Namdhari XI vs Hockey Gangpur-Odisha; 2nd semifinal: Mumbai vs Maharashtra.