Puno, March 16: Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal (VBSP) and Savitribai Phule University recorded hard-fought victories to book semi-final berths at the SNBP – 28th Nehru All-India Inter-University Hockey Tournament (Interzonal Final) at Dhyan Chand Major Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar, Pimpri on Wednesday.
Savitribai Phule University Pune edged out Bangalore University, Bangalore 1-0, while VBSP, Jaunpur ended last year’s third-place hopes of Bangalore City University with a 3-2 shootout victory. penalties after sharing the honors 2-2 at full time.
The home team Pune University played their heart out to stop Bangalore University’s streak and dominated the proceedings. In the second quarter, Taleb Shah (30th) made his clean reverse shot beat Bangalore University goalkeeper Shreyas Somaiah hands down.
Bangalore University had a golden opportunity through Chetan MK in the third quarter but completely missed their attempt on an open arc.
Pune University later survived three penalty corners to stem a last minute surge from Bangalore University.
In the first quarter-final, VBSP, Jaunpur and Bangalore City University were held to a goalless draw in the first quarter, before Bangalore City forced the lead with a quick counter-attack that ended with Gokavi Vasanth Kumar (18th) scoring.
Surviving a penalty corner, Bangalore City were swift in their transition which saw Mutagar Haresh, on the deep right wing, do well to exchange a pass to an unmarked Gokavi, who reversed his attempt past goalkeeper Nigam Prateek 1- 0.
VBSP University took their time and tied it with an indirect penalty corner. Captain Uttam Singh, seeing Manish Sahani (26th) on the left, cleverly switched to see his teammate score past Ravi Kumar (1-1).
In the second half, VBSP, Jaunpur took the lead in the fourth quarter when Vejendra Singh (52nd) scored on a reflex deflected after Uttam Singh fired hard from inside the circle (2-1).
Bangalore City equalized five minutes later through Mutagar Haresh (57th) to finish full time at 2-2.
In the shootout Suraj Shahi, Vejendra Singh, Uttam Singh scored for VBSP University while Ganesh Majji and Mutagar Haresh scored for Bangalore City.
Arun Shahani and Gagan Rajbhar missed for Jaunpur, while Bangalore had Pavan, Bharat and Punith miss their attempts.