Indian Railways – one of the most consistent sides in the Indian domestic circuit – weathered a late resistance from Punjab Police to walk away with a 2-2 draw in Pool A tie to seal their semifinal berth in the Obaidullah Khan Heritage Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Bhopal. Punjab Police needed a big win over the Railwaymen to book their semifinal berth, as even a draw was not going to be enough simply because Indian Railways have a much superior goal average after their massive 14-0 win over Madhya Pradesh Hockey team.
The Railway outfit were sitting pretty after former international and World-Cupper Jasjit Singh Kullar and drag-flicker Joginder Singh provided them a two-goal cushion. Punjab Police fought back with second half goals from Karambir Singh and Arshdeep Singh, who scored a brilliant solo goal and was rightly named Man of the Match.
Indian Railways will face formidable Indian Oil in the second semifinal on Saturday, while two sides from the Army – Army XI and Army Green will lock horns in the first semifinal. Indian Oil’s semifinal place was assured after CAG rallied to beat Punjab Sind Bank 2-1. The bankmen opened the scoring in the 49th minute through Lovepreet Jainth after three goalless quarters but CAG levelled things via Mohammed Nayeemduddin and subsequently fired home the winner in the final minute of play via Chandan Singh.