Punjab Police rallied twice from arrears to put it across Indian Navy 4-3 in Pool A to seal a spot in the semi finals of the 13th PMC Bank All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament here today. In another match, in Pool B, Army XI from Bengaluru fought back from a goal in arrears to down local outfit Central Railway 4-2 and also make the last four grade. Stung by two field goals in the space of five minutes midway through the opening half scored by local super league champions' Ved Prakash and Mohit Thakur, the northern policemen first reduced the margin on the call of half-time through Harbir Sandhu off their first penalty corner. Punjab Police, who are playing in their first tournament anywhere in the country after five years, then drew level soon after the break when Pawandeep Singh converted their second short corner award. Navy hit back in the 45th minute with yet another field goal scored by A K Goswami who dispatched a long cross from the left from the top of the circle into the rival goal to regain the lead. The pressure was on the policemen and they pitched tent in the rival half to draw level for the second time through a penalty-stroke award converted by former international Sarvanjit Singh. They then scored the all-important match-winner through Olympian Gurbaj Singh, their captain, a superb diving effort - four minutes from the end - off a pass from another ex-India player, Dharamvir Singh. The policemen thus ensured a spot in the semi finals with their second win on the trot in the league, having earlier got the better of Bharat Petroleum 1-0. Navy's second loss in the group put South Central Railway, with two wins in hand, into the last four. Later, Army XI recovered after conceding an early goal to outclass Central Railway. After Vinod Nair put Central in front, Binay Bhengra replied with a field goal to restore parity for the army team before half time. Rahul Kumar Yadav and Chandan Aind later scored off penalty corners to give Army XI a 3-1 lead before Vinod Yadav swept home in style to make it 4-1. Central got a late consolation goal through Rajendra Pawar off a short corner. The defeat put out Central from fray. Indian Oil and Army XI will meet tomorrow to decide the group toppers.
Oilmen have already qualified for the semis.