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Eight-time champions Border Security Force from Jalandhar were thrown out of the 43rd Bombay Gold Cup hockey tournament for having fielded a player from another team during their 1-0 victory over Mumbai outfit Central Railway.
The protest was upheld by the tournament committee on the basis of photographic evidence, BHA's secretary Commander Kehar Singh said in a media statement.
"After careful observation of the photographs taken on the opening day it is proved beyond any doubt that the said M Singh (No 29) had played for both the teams as alleged.
"On further clarification the player did not come out with the truth and refused to recognise his own photograph and said it was of his younger brother, which is contrary to the facts and hence the BSF XI stands scratched from the tournament and the match awarded to Central Railway hockey team," the statement added.
Central, thus, qualified for a quarter-final meeting with Indian Hockey Federation Junior XI on May 1.
The controversy robbed the sheen of former champions' Punjab Police's storming entry into the quarter-finals with a 6-0 rout of Chennai's Indian Overseas Bank [Get Quote].
Sarabjit Singh and Ranjodh Singh scored a brace each for the five-time former winners whose other goal-getters were Amit Sandhu and Jagbir Singh.
The policemen run into last year's runners-up Western Railway in the quarters.
In two second round matches, local outfit All India Customs shocked Bharat Petroleum, with a plethora of former India players in their ranks, 1-0, while Uttar Pradesh XI sent Indian Navy (Mumbai) packing with a 3-1 margin of victory.
Punjab Police were too powerful for IOB, who were lucky not to have conceded more than a goal in the first half. The policemen effectively shackled the IOB frontline and hardly gave them space to move beyond their own 25-yard line.
Punjab Police surged ahead in the 10th minute when Sarabjit Singh showed fine marksmanship by reverse hitting into the goal from the top of the 'D' after being fed by Jagbir Singh with a shallow diagonal.
The policemen spurned two other chances to score in the opening half before upping the tempo to pump in three goals in the space of seven minutes between the 5th and 12th minutes of the latter stanza to virtually seal IOB's fate.
Amit Sandhu scooped in a centre from the left essayed by Ranjodh Singh to make it 2-0. The latter then did the spadework for Sarabjit to complete a brace in the 46th.
In the very next minute Ranjodh got into the goal-getters' list after a dazzling solo run into the rival circle by dodging past two defenders and then vaulting over rival goalkeeper Shanmugha Sundaram before flicking it in.
IOB, who failed to score off four penalty-corner awards, conceded two more goals in three minutes (64th and 66th).
Ranjodh Singh got his second goal with an indirectly taken penalty-corner and then Jagbir Singh sounded the board off a quick move down the centre.
Customs' match-winner against fancied BPCL [Get Quote] was scored via a penalty-corner in the 12th minute by Hemant Gethe.
BPCL, missing the services of Tushar Khandekar and Len Aiyappa, who are in the national camp, frittered away 14 penalty-corners while Customs found the mark once out of the two they earned.
UP XI showed impressive form on way to rout Indian Navy for a next round meeting with Customs.
The goal-scorers for UP, who led 1-0 at the breather and earned seven penalty-corners, were Ravi Bharti, who scored two goals in the 22nd and 56th minutes of play, and Vivek (56th).
Customs got their lone goal in the opening minute of the second half through Sikander Singh.
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