Horo helps Services stun Punjab in hockey

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Striker Kamal Horo struck a brace as underdogs Services pulled off a stunning 3-2 upset win over defending champions Punjab to storm into the final of the Men's hockey at the 31st National Games at the Surjit Hockey stadium here today. Horo, who had done the bulk of the scoring for Services in the earlier rounds, slammed in two goals while Sosan Topna scored one to pip Punjab after a keen contest. For Punjab skipper Sanjeev Kumar and Sharanjeet Singh were the goal scorers. The day clearly belonged to Services who played some superb hockey with well co-ordinated attacks following from superb passing. They played their natural game and was never overawed by the strength of their opponents. After wasting the first penalty corner which they forced in the second minute, Services converted the second penalty corner nine minutes later through Horo who sounded the boards with a powerful hit. Punjab restored parity in the 30th minute through captain Sanjeev Kumar who slammed in a rebound to make it 1-1. But Punjab's joy in equalizing the tie soon evaporated as Horo put Services back in the lead with a superb solo sortie. Accelarating down the turf from the middle, Horo dodged his way past three Punjab defenders and beat the goalkeeper to score as Services led 2-1 at the break. Changing ends, Horo wasted a golden chance in the 48th minute when, after rushing in, he shot wide in front of an open goal. Susan Topno increased Services' lead with a stunning reverse flick as the scoreboard showed 3-1. The defending champions only have themselves to blame for the defeat as they failed to make use of the first four penalty corners. When Sharanjeet Singh finally found a goal from the fifth award in the dying moments, it was all over for Punjab who failed to raise their game in front of empty stands. (PTI)