Defending Champions Army XI bounced back in their second group game to beat Union Bank Of India 6-1 in a Pool ‘A’ match of the 11th PMC Bank Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India hockey tournament at the MHAL Stadium, Churchgate yesterday.
Army XI’s Chandan Aind (jersey number 9) shoots to score against Union Bank of India during their league match of the All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup hockey tournament at the MHAL Stadium in Churchgate yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Having lost their previous match 2-6 to ONGC on Thursday, Army XI displayed attacking hockey yesterday to register their first victory in the tournament. Army XI took lead in the 14th minute, through centerforward Chandan Aind’s powerful strike (21st minute), and doubled the lead through Uday Bara soon after. Aind then got his second goal of the match from a penalty corner after which teammate Biraj Ekka made it 4-0. In the second half, Gurpreet Singh added Goal No 5 and then Aind completed his hat-trick off a penalty corner. Rajendra Pawar got the lone goal for UBI.
Army XI coach CB Janardhan was relieved to see his team get their title defence back on track after the ONGC thrashing. “We are just back from playing in the MCC Murugappa Cup in Chennai and the boys are bit jaded but I’m happy with this result. Now we have two more matches to go (against Western Railway and BPCL) and have to win them to secure a place in the semi-finals. More importantly the scoreline here has helped us overcome the goal deficit due to our previous defeat,” said Janardhan.
Striker Aind also insisted that the team is aiming for the title once again. “I am happy to contribute to my team’s cause. Being defending champions, there’s a lot of pressure on us to retain the title,”