Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh win in hockey

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updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Title aspirants Punjab edged out a fighting Bengal 1-0 while Chandigarh rallied brilliantly to script a 2-1 victory over Andhra Pradesh to stay in the reckoning in men's hockey in the 31st National Games here today. In another match, Tamil Nadu beat Jammu and Kashmir 2-0. Baljit Singh scored the winner for Punjab in the 38th minute converting a penalty corner as Bengal muffed a number of scoring chances in a fast-paced second half. Chandigarh, who have shown a lot of improvement over the years, conceded the first goal late in the opening session but bounced back to score two goals in quick succession to leave their opponents in a daze. Anand Ratnakumar put Andhra Pradesh in the lead in the 34th minute with a brilliant effort but that was their only moment of glory as they failed to sustain the momentum in the second session. Trailing 0-1, Chandigarh stepped up the pace of the game and the strategy seemed to pay dividends as they pumped in two goals in the span of 10 minutes. After initiating a series of raids, Rajpal Singh found the equalizer for Chandigarh in the 41st minute capitalizing on a defensive lapse while Gurpreet Kaur scored the second goal much to the delight of his teammates. Andhra, jolted by the double strike, made a valiant effort to restore parity but the Chandigarh defence responded well to the challenge and gave very little room for maneuvering near the goalmouth. (PTI)