Free Press Journal

Aind hat-trick powers Army XI to easy win over Union Bank


Mumbai: Powered by centre forward Chandan Aind’s hat-trick, defending champions Army XI, Bengaluru, got back to winning form by outclassing qualifiers Union Bank of India, Mumbai, 6-1 in a Pool A match of the 11th PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament today. The Army outfit, who had succumbed to a stunning 2-6 defeat against ONGC yesterday, were a much improved lot today.

After initial probing, Army XI went ahead when Aind struck his and the team’s first goal in the 14th minute. He got his second goal from a penalty corner conversion in the 23rd minute and completed his hat-trick from another penalty corner in the 66th minute.

In between those goals, Uday Bara (21st), Biraj Ekka (25th) and Gurpreet Singh (38th) also found the boards. UBI scored a late consolation goal through Rajendra Pawar in the 68th minute. It was the first win for Army in two games and the second successive loss for Union Bank. Earlier, a resurgent Western Railway, Mumbai, who had slumped to a humiliating 1-8 defeat to ONGC on Wednesday, bounced back with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Bengaluru, in a Pool A match.

This is the first win for Western in two games. For BPCL, who were also playing their second game, it was their first loss after a thumping 6-1 win against Union Bank. Amit Rohidas converted a penalty corner to give Western a 4th minute 1-0 lead.

But BPCL fought back and five minutes later restored parity through Hari Prasad’s field goal before Western regained the lead when Manpreet Singh struck, also from a field effort, as the teams went into the break with the Mumbai team leading 2-1.

Western increased the lead when Malak Singh scored from an indirect penalty corner hit in the 60th minute. BPCL cut the lead when Prasad sounded the boards with an angular hit from the right in the 63rd minute for his second goal.

But a minute later he let his team down as he failed to beat Western goalkeeper Saurabh Singh after picking up Ravi Pal’s brilliant through pass.