Punjab lift IHF Federation Cup

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Punjab won the Indian Hockey Federation's (IHF) Federation Cup in a thrilling battle beating Uttar Pradesh 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the match was tied 1-1 during regulation time at Shivaji stadium here Sunday.

Both teams attacked in initial stages but UP dominated the first half, penetrating the Punjab defence on several occasions. They showed their eagerness to score but were off target as the first half ended goal less.

Punjab came back strongly in the second half and were awarded a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute but Varun Kumar's shot hit the post.

UP drew first blood as Divakar Ram scored in the 45th minute through a penalty corner but the joy was short-lived as Punjab responded quickly and Rajin Kandulna found the net in the 51st minute.

With the scores tied 1-1, both teams missed out on easy scoring chances in the final minutes and the match was stretched to shoot outs.

Punjab found the net four times with Amandeep Singh missing his shot whereas UP could do it only thrice as Prantiner Singh and Sarabjit missed their shots.

"I missed because of my over-confidence and I accept my mistake," Sarabjit said.

"I was confident that we will win and wanted to do good and I did it. It feels great and its a good experience for me," Kandulna, man of the final said.

UP's Ram was adjourned the player of the tournament.


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