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Punjab, Services tie; Railways garner full points

By Sports reporter

GUWAHATI, May 20 � Former champions Punjab played a 2-2 draw against Services in their opening group-B quarterfinal league match of the Santosh Trophy here at the Nehru Stadium today.

In a keenly contested encounter, Punjab struck twice against Services� one at the break. But Services equalised after the breather making a brilliant fightback. Barjinder Singh (21st minute) and Gurpreet Singh (38th minute) were the goal getters for Punjab while Gordon Zoramchana (23rd minute) and GS Sandhu (56th minute) hit the mark for Services.

Punjab took a comfortable 2-1 lead at the break enjoying major share of the ball with better collective effort. Barjinder Singh Chema forged Punjab ahead in the 21st minute when he managed to hit the target off a melee. But the Services boys took no time to retaliate and drew parity through Gordon Zoramchana who beat Punjab custodian Paramjit Singh off a 25-yard set piece.

Punjab striker Gurpreet Singh beautifully anticipated skipper Rohit�s defence splitting through and pushed home keeping all the Services defenders way behind to put his team ahead 2-1.

After the break, both the teams increased their momentum and went all out rather than concentrating in saving their fort. The Services players were more agile and used both the flanks properly. Speedy Farid VV and Gordon made inroads repeatedly into Punjab territory who fed their frontliners with measured centres. Finally, they got the result when Sandhu beautifully read a Gordon floater from the right flank and headed home for the equaliser.

Rlys-Goa: Meanwhile, in the second match of the day, Indian Railways showed their courage against former champions Goa and recorded a handsome 3-0 victory in their opening group B quarterfinal league match under lights at the Nehru Stadium here.

Railways took control of the situation from the initial stage and went ahead in the very third minute when PC Riju made a sudden burst through the middle and outran all the Goan defenders with his speed. Finally, he beat the Goa goalkeeper at the far post with a gentle push keeping his cool in the box (1-0).

Goa strikers, Lavino Fernandes and Gabriel Fernandes, with the help of Valzino Fernandes, Rowlin Borges went all out to get back into the game and forced the Railways defenders toil at the bottom. Railways, however, managed to save their goal till the break. Custodian VP Satish Kumar also made a couple of brilliant saves.

Immediately after changing over, Railways got another success. Rail defender Majid Khan sent a high ball to the Goa goal area and unmarked Balraj Singh deflected the ball to the goal with a gentle header in the 50th minute (2-0). Continuing their aggressive attitude, Railways went further ahead in the 80th minute. Anticipating a pass from Riju, striker Balraj scored his second goal outwitting Goan defence (3-0).

All the Railways defenders Majid Khan, Akhil Rajbongshi, Suder Mandi and Y Raju Singh balanced well and hardly left space for opponent attackers to cruise through. The last-ditch effort by Goan attackers did not pay any dividend as after the third goal, Railways players were firmly settled on the ground.

Today�s matches (Q/F league, Guwahati): Chattishgarh vs Manipur 3.30 pm, Bengal vs TN 5.45 pm.

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Punjab, Services tie; Railways garner full points

GUWAHATI, May 20 � Former champions Punjab played a 2-2 draw against Services in their opening group-B quarterfinal league match of the Santosh Trophy here at the Nehru Stadium today.

In a keenly contested encounter, Punjab struck twice against Services� one at the break. But Services equalised after the breather making a brilliant fightback. Barjinder Singh (21st minute) and Gurpreet Singh (38th minute) were the goal getters for Punjab while Gordon Zoramchana (23rd minute) and GS Sandhu (56th minute) hit the mark for Services.

Punjab took a comfortable 2-1 lead at the break enjoying major share of the ball with better collective effort. Barjinder Singh Chema forged Punjab ahead in the 21st minute when he managed to hit the target off a melee. But the Services boys took no time to retaliate and drew parity through Gordon Zoramchana who beat Punjab custodian Paramjit Singh off a 25-yard set piece.

Punjab striker Gurpreet Singh beautifully anticipated skipper Rohit�s defence splitting through and pushed home keeping all the Services defenders way behind to put his team ahead 2-1.

After the break, both the teams increased their momentum and went all out rather than concentrating in saving their fort. The Services players were more agile and used both the flanks properly. Speedy Farid VV and Gordon made inroads repeatedly into Punjab territory who fed their frontliners with measured centres. Finally, they got the result when Sandhu beautifully read a Gordon floater from the right flank and headed home for the equaliser.

Rlys-Goa: Meanwhile, in the second match of the day, Indian Railways showed their courage against former champions Goa and recorded a handsome 3-0 victory in their opening group B quarterfinal league match under lights at the Nehru Stadium here.

Railways took control of the situation from the initial stage and went ahead in the very third minute when PC Riju made a sudden burst through the middle and outran all the Goan defenders with his speed. Finally, he beat the Goa goalkeeper at the far post with a gentle push keeping his cool in the box (1-0).

Goa strikers, Lavino Fernandes and Gabriel Fernandes, with the help of Valzino Fernandes, Rowlin Borges went all out to get back into the game and forced the Railways defenders toil at the bottom. Railways, however, managed to save their goal till the break. Custodian VP Satish Kumar also made a couple of brilliant saves.

Immediately after changing over, Railways got another success. Rail defender Majid Khan sent a high ball to the Goa goal area and unmarked Balraj Singh deflected the ball to the goal with a gentle header in the 50th minute (2-0). Continuing their aggressive attitude, Railways went further ahead in the 80th minute. Anticipating a pass from Riju, striker Balraj scored his second goal outwitting Goan defence (3-0).

All the Railways defenders Majid Khan, Akhil Rajbongshi, Suder Mandi and Y Raju Singh balanced well and hardly left space for opponent attackers to cruise through. The last-ditch effort by Goan attackers did not pay any dividend as after the third goal, Railways players were firmly settled on the ground.

Today�s matches (Q/F league, Guwahati): Chattishgarh vs Manipur 3.30 pm, Bengal vs TN 5.45 pm.