70th All India Police Hockey: Defending Champions CRPF, Punjab Police Romp into Quarterfinals

Punjab Police clawed their way back after conceding an early goal and subsequently towered over 2019 edition runners-up BSF, Jallandhar to chalk up a facile 5-1 win to romp into the quarterfinals of the 70th All India Police Hockey Tournament being organised by the Karnataka State Police at the Field Marshal KM Cariappa Hockey Stadium, Bengaluru.

The Punjab cops had hardly settled into their strides when Hatinder Singh converted a penalty corner in the 2nd minute to put BSF in the driver’s seat. However, the early goal joy for BSF was short-lived as Punjab Police struck twice in a span of six minutes via Karanbir Singh and Pawandeep Singh to seize the initiative. Kanwarjeet Singh made the most of a short corner routine to make the scoreline 3-1. Olympian and skipper Ramandeep Singh joined in the goal-scoring act rattling the BSF cage close to half-time and added one more in the closing stages converting a penalty stroke. The cops from Punjab will now face CISF, Delhi in the last-eight stage.

Defending champions CRPF, Delhi lived up to their billing, sailing past Madhya Pradesh Police 6-0 and would now meet ITBP, Jallandhar in the quarterfinals. 2019 edition third-placed team Odisha Police bossed over Gujarat Police, handing them an 11-0 drubbing, and will now face Tamil Nadu Police in the quarterfinals.

Hosts Karnataka Police played out a 1-1 draw against Uttar Pradesh Police but still managed to make it to the quarterfinals where they will clash with Jharkhand Police. As many as 30 teams are taking part in the championship that concludes on December 11. It may be worth recalling that the All India Police Hockey Tournament is being held after a gap of one year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. CRPF, Delhi had won the 2019 edition beating BSF, Jallandhar 4-2 in the final. Odisha Police had pipped Haryana Police 3-0 to finish third in the 2019 edition.