Air India to clash with IA in semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Air India drew 1-1 against Pakistan's Star Hockey Club today but are through to the semifinals of the Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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New Delhi:

Air India were held 1-1 by Pakistan's Star Hockey Club today but the draw was enough to catapult the India side to the semifinals of the Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament. Air India will play title favourites Indian Airlines in the semifinal on Tuesday. In the other match, BPCL will take on Indian Oil, who swamped Indian Navy 4-1 in a league game at the Shivaji Stadium. The Pakistani side needed a win to advance to the knockout stage and they played their heart out in achieving that but in vain. The defending champions, who had won their earlier two matches, dashed the visitors' hopes by taking a vital point that they required for a semifinal berth. The well-contested match saw both the teams dishing out an attacking game from the beginning but despite several attacks on the posts they could not find any success. Till the half-time, both Air India and the Lahore-based team failed to sound the board though after the break the India team upped the tempo a bit in a bid to take the lead. Air India's regular attacks paid off when captain Davinder Kumar converted a penalty corner in the 47th minute to give the side a 1-0 lead. Air India managed to hold on to the lead till the 64th minute but a little complacency in the last few minutes saw the Pakistani side win a penalty corner that was converted by Sarfaraz for the equaliser. (PTI)