Mumbai XI started with flourish and gave Hyderabad some anxious moments and drew first blood in the 29th minute when Nilesh Mane made no mistake in converting the second penalty corner out of the six they forced. But later their frontliners were not only lethargic but were also out of ideas.
Hyderabad meaning business stood up to the rival challenge and went ahead in the 44th minute via Mayur who sounded the boards with a rasping drive following the penalty corner and restored parity 1-1 all. Two minutes later, inside left Nityanand increased the lead capitalising on the pass of centre forward Dung Dung. While Dung Dung made the issue safe in the 63rd minute with a solo burst from the 25 yards line. Mumbai, however, fought back through Nilesh Mane who again converted the sixth penalty corner in the 49th minute and completed a brace for himself. Hyderabad had two penalty corners but could convert only one.
The Uttar Pradesh-Tamil Nadu semi-final which was played under steady drizzle was fought on even terms and brought some cheers to the sparce crowd at the PCMC synthetic poli- gras stadium in Pimpri. The rivals shared the better of exchanges in a fast paced encounter. The sturdy Uttar Pradesh boys who not only were skilfull but combined well and pose a threat to the rivals. On the other hand Tamil Nadu also played in an cohesive game but derived home the advantage as their frontliners gave meaning to their efforts in the final analysis of the game.
The north side spearheaded by their fast moving centre forward Brijesh drew first blood in the 18th minute after inside right Kaushal Singh did the spade work. The southerners led by S Vinod often got past the rival inter-mediate defence but failed to get past their deep defence.
Changing over with 1-0 advantage UP did not relax their grip as their forwards kept the rival defence do the overtime. In one of the moves initiated by right extreme Shashikant it was Pramod Kumar who increased the lead with an angular drive to make it 2-0.
Stung by the reverses Tamil Nadu kept their search for the goals.
They succeeded in the 49th minute after A Raja and Hayat Babu combination saw the former sounding the boards with a stinging drive and reduced the margin. They could have restored parity but paid for their slipshod marksmanship. The winners forced three penalty corners on their rivals which however fizzled out in vain.
Indian Olympic Association President Mr.Suresh Kalmadi (MP) will be the guest of honour at the final on Saturday and will give away the prizes.
Fixture for Saturday ( Finals) Uttar Pradesh XI vs Hyderabad XI PCMC Poli-Gras Stadium Pimpri UNI IS CNH WD AY RAI2021