Mumbai Republicans put out champs Excellency Academy enter last-4

Published: Jul 07, 2019, 10:31 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Joining Mumbai Republicans in the semi-final were; Mumbai Customs, Income Tax Department, Pune and Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) who won tight encounters.

Mumbai Republicans put out champs Excellency Academy enter last-4
Representational image

Mumbai Republicans ended the run of two-time winners and defending champions Excellency Academy by a solitary goal to storm into the semi-finals of the 8th Hussain Silver Cup at the Maj. Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Friday.

Joining Mumbai Republicans in the semi-final were; Mumbai Customs, Income Tax Department, Pune and Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) who won tight encounters.

Mumbai Republicans playing the last match of the day did well in the heavy conditions to stave off Excellency Academy after Tejas Chavan (24th) scored the all-important goal. Mumbai Republican also had a chance to double the lead, but Anuj Singh missed converting a penalty-stroke.

However, the hero of the day and win was Excellency Academy goalkeeper Kunal Dhole who was brilliant in his zone and instrumental to keep the score down, which also included keeping out the goal his team conceded.

Later, Mumbai Customs ensured they were in the driver’s seat all the way and put out Krida Prabodhini 3-2 in a tight game. A brace by Iftedar Shaikh (24th, 52nd) after an opening goal by Joshua Vessaokar (7th) was enough for the Mumbai Customs team.

Krida Prabodhini put up a fight but were always in arrears. Aniket Gurav (28th) pulled one back and at the fag-end Rohan Patil (59th).

In the second match, Income Tax Department rode Nitin Kumar’s 54th minute goal to get past high-scoring Hockey Pune 3-2 in a battle of fluctuating fortunes. Nitin Kumar (26th) opened Income Tax account converting a penalty-corner, but then went into arrears when Talib Shah (39th) and Rishab Shah (51st) scored to trail 1-2.

Skipper Ajitesh Roy (54th) brought Income Tax on levels (2-2) with a penalty-corner, before Nitin settled the issue.

Earlier, in the first match of the day, SAG’s Ruchit Patel held centre-stage with a second half three-goal sixteen minute-burst to put hosts Rovers Academy ‘A’ out.

Playing their first match, after being seeded into the last-8 directly, SAG opened the scoring through skipper Ashab Qureshi (4th). However, Ankit Goud (13th) ensured the half-time remained on evens.

Changing ends, Rovers Academy had Ankit (40th) convert a penalty-corner to help his team lead for the first time. Thereafter, SAG took over. First, Ruchit (44th) levelled and then converted two ‘penalty strokes’ to complete the win.

RESULTS
QF-1: Sports Authority of Gujarat: 4 (Ashab Qureshi 4th; Ruchit Patel 44th, 51st, 58th) bt Rovers Academy ‘A’: 2 (Ankit Goud 13th, 40th).
QF-2: Income Tax Department, Pune: 3 (Nitin Kumar 26th, 54th; Ajitesh Roy 52nd) bt Hockey Pune: 2 (Talib Shah 39th; Rishab Shah 51st). 
QF-3: Mumbai Customs: 3 (Joshua Vessaokar 7th; Iftedar Shaikh 24th, 52nd) bt Krida Prabodhini: 2 (Aniket Gurav 28th; Rohal Patil 59th).
QF-4: Mumbai Republicans: 1 (Tejas Chavan 24th) b Excellency Academy: 0. HT: 1-0

SATURDAY’S FIXTURES - SEMIFINALS
SF1: Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) v Income Tax Department, Pune – 2.00pm
SF2: Mumbai Customs v Mumbai Republican – 3.30

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