PUNE: Hockey Punjab became the first team to make it to the quarter-finals of the 11th Hockey India Senior Men's National Championship at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri on Monday, beating Hockey Andhra Pradesh 7-1 in a preliminary league match here.
Hockey Karnataka and Hockey Chandigarh remained unbeaten and stayed on the course of quarter-final berths registering second wins respectively pools. Hockey Karnataka downed Le Puducherry Hockey 4-1 in Pool C and Hockey Chandigarh edged out Manipur Hockey 1-0 in Pool E.
In a Pool D encounter, Punjab thrashed Hockey Andhra Pradesh to remain unbeaten in a group reduced to three teams after Hockey Andaman and Nicobar failed to turn up for the championship.
In another match in Pool E, Hockey Rajasthan defeated Tripura Hockey 18-0 after Vijendra Singh (25th, 28th, 40th, 48th, 50th, 57th) putting on a six-star effort.
There was a last-second drama in the last match of the day. In a Pool-B game, Delhi Hockey scored seconds from the final hooter to defeat Hockey Madhya Pradesh 3-2. Braj Gopal (60th) deflected the ball home from close to seal the issgue.
Eariier, Dheeraj Vats (29th) and Md. Altaf (48th) scored for Delhi Hockey while Ravi Rajbhar (13th) and Ayush Pethe (58th) netted for Hockey Madhya Pradesh. IANS
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