CHANDIGARH, March 18 : Border Security Force just managed to prevail over defending champions Punjab Police by an aggregate 8-7 margin in the sudden death tie-breaker after sharing four goals in the regulated 70-minute session of the 57th All-India Police Hockey Championship organized by the Chandigarh Police at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium here today.
Even the regular tie-breaker session could not resolve the deadlock as the teams were tied 4-all. The sudden death tie-breaker rule was applied to resolve the stalemate. Vikramjit Singh and Harbhajan Singh converted their strokes to clinch the issue in their favour of BSF. Drag flicker Jugraj Singh of Punjab Police converted it with an accurate and powerful push but his captain international Kanwalpreet Singh’s stroke was too weak to beat BSF goalkeeper KM Subbmah.
Earlier, in the tie-breaker session, BSF’s scorers were: Varinderjit Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Sharanjit Singh and Sushil Kumar. Raj Singh muffed his stroke as his gentle push was saved by substitute Punjab Police goalkeeper Baljit Singh.
In the stipulated session, the final started on a brisk note as the teams scored two goals in the first four minutes. BSF captain Harbhajan Singh stunned Punjab Police, captain by international midfielder Kanwalpreet Singh, by scoring a goal in the second minute. Punjab Police retaliated in the fourth minute and Kanwalpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to place his team at par. They forced another penalty corner and this time Jugraj Singh displayed his skill to convert the penalty corner with a sizzling drag flick in the 25th minute.
BSF were lucky as they restored parity in the 35th minute when they were awarded a penalty corner and Varinderjit Singh grabbed the opportunity to sound the board to get loud cheers from their supporters who turned up in a large number.
Both teams had a number of opportunities to score but could not take advantage of these chances. In the 55th minute, Amit Singh sprinted on the right flank before squaring the ball to Satwinder Singh whose reverse shot on the run went wide. Two minutes later, BSF retaliated when M Lakra gave a through pass to Mandeep Singh Sr failed to connect it.
Punjab Police pressed hard and forced two penalty corners in succession in the 59th minute. However, BSF first runner B Guria first foiled Jugraj Singh and then Kanwalpreet Singh.
BSF had a golden opportunity to wrap up the match just before the hooter. Sharanjit Singh sent a measured pass to Harbhjan Singh who had an open goal in front but he delayed and was dispossessed.
With teams tied 2-all, extra time of 15 minutes could not fail to break the dispute and the organizers applied the tie-breaker rule to decide the winners.
Earlier, in a Hard Line match, Central Industrial Security Force outplayed Haryana Police by 7-3. CISF scored through Compal Lakra (2), Bharat Kumar, Mangra Munda, Cyril Ekka, G Bala Krishanan and Ravinder Singh (1 each). Haryana Police reduced the margin through Parveen Kumar, Sardara Singh and Sandeep Kumar (1 each).
Maharashtra Police will take home the Fair Play Trophy.
Punjab Governor Gen (Retd) SF Rodrigues was the chief guest and distributed the prizes. He was received by Chandigarh Inspector General of Police and chairman of Organising Committee SK Jain, DIG Mahabir Singh, SSP SS Srivastava, SP (Security and Traffic) and HS Doon, SP (Operation) RS Ghumman.