Indian Oil, Mumbai have quite a reputation in the domestic hockey circuit, especially the prestigious Surjit Hockey Tournament which they have won it four times (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014) – they have been runners-up on seven occasions as well (2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019). The oilmen have showen everyone present at the the Olympian Surjit Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Jallandhar that they would be red-hot favourites to win the 39th Surjit Hockey Tournament. Packed with former Olympians and internationals, Indian Oil have emerged as the side to beat in the tournament. The drag-flicking duo of Vokkaliga Raghunath and Gurjinder Singh as well as the experienced forwardline comprising Affan Yousuf, Talwinder Singh, Armaan Quereshi and Roshan Minz have proved to be more than handful for their opponents.
Indian Oil have all but sealed their semifinal spot after posting back-to-back wins against Indian Air Force (won 7-0) and Punjab Police 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory and are sitting on the top of the tree in Pool A – their impressive showing means reigning champions Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) would have to work much harder after their first game dissapointment to make it to the last-four stage.
Army XI are looking good to clinch one of the two semifinal spots from Pool B after prevailing over last year’s runners-up Punjab & Sind Bank 3-1 and ASC Jallandhar 4-2. The second semifinal spot could be a toss-up between Punjab & Sind Bank and Punjab National Bank Delhi. Indeed, the 39th Surjit Hockey Tournament have lived up to the expectations, in terms of excitement and quality and the business end of the tourney could witness more humdingers.