The Gooncha 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tournament witnessed exciting tussles on day two of the competition with South Central Railway getting the better of Hockey Maharashtra Mumbai XI 3-2. It was a match where South Central Railway twice went behind but fought back to bring the game on level terms. Mumbai XI boasting of the famed duo of Walmiki brothers – Yuvraj and Devender (Yuvraj in fact, scored the second goal)- did everything to take the contest away from the railmen but former international goal-stopper Sushant Tirkey had a dream day in office, pulling off saves one after another, including a penalty stroke to deny Mumbai XI from scoring even as South Central Railway produced the match-winner in the closing stages of the third quarter via their skipper MG Poonacha.
South Central Railway now faces Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in the Pool A knockout final. Indian Air Force, fresh from their creditable semifinal finish in the 31st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament in New Delhi, thumped hosts Telangana XI 6-1 and will now clash with Indian Navy in the Pool B knockout final – the Navymen put it across Delhi XI 2-1 in a knockout tie.
The winners of the two knockout finals will join six other teams such as defending champions Punjab National Bank, Indian Oil, Punjab & Sind Bank, Indian Railways, Army XI and CAG XI in the quarterfinal league stage. Top 2 teams from each pool will feature in the semifinals.