Top teams Haryana, Punjab and Air India posted comfortable victories over their respective opponents on the second day of the second Hockey India senior national men’s championship here on Monday.
Defending champions Haryana blanked Bengal 8-0 in Pool A while Bhopal edged past Maharashtra 2-1 in the same pool. Punjab slammed 12 past a hapless Chattisgarh, who could not manage a single goal in a Pool C match. In another Pool C match, Services got a walkover from Arunachal Pradesh.
In Pool E, a star-studded AI shook off their rustiness and trounced Rajasthan 12-0. They had beaten Madhya Pradesh 4-1 on the first day of the championship. Sameer Dad got a couple of goals. Sandeep Singh, Prabodh Tirkey, Somanna Pradhan, Birendra Lakra, Arjun Halappa and VS Vinaya scored one each, while an own goal rounded off the tally. With top quality players in their ranks, it was always going to be tough for Rajasthan to make a match of it.
A weak Rajasthan defence saw AI wreak havoc in their area. Quick and clean passes were the highlights. Former India international Dad was particularly active with some continuous attacking.
Pool A: Haryana 8 (D Singh 4, 45, A Antil 34, B Chikara 49, N Antil 51, G Singh 59, K Singh 65, S Singh 70) bt Bengal 0; Bhopal 2 (A Yousuf 22, 63) bt Maharashtra 1 (N Bahadur 44); Pool C: Punjab 12 (G Singh 2, A Singh 10, 41, 50, 52, 69, R Singh 11, 23, S Singh 17, 26, 62, T Singh 59) bt Chattisgarh 0; Pool E: Air India 9 (S Dad 22, 47, P Tirkey 29, Sandeep Singh 34, Somanna Pradhan 44, Birendra Lakra 56, Arjun Halappa 67, VS Vinaya 69, Own Goal 37) bt Rajasthan 0; Madhya Pradesh 9 (Shakir Hussain 6, Arman Qureshi 12, Nilakanth Sharma 14, 47, Sarfaraz Khan 24, Raju Singh 51, Nizamuddin Mohammed 56, Amit Kumar Singh 57, Vikas Choudhary 64) bt Nagaland 2 (Keduneizo 17, Mohd Asif 66).