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AI beats Jharkand, Haryana to clash with Punjab in semis

Defending champions Haryana will face Punjab while hosts Karnataka will lock horns with Air India in the semi-finals of the second Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championship on Monday.

In the quarterfinals played on Sunday, Air India scored a hard-fought 4-2 win over Jharkhand, Haryana overcame a gritty Manipur 4-2, last year’s finalists Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu 2-0 and Punjab thrashed Railway Sports Control Board 5-1 respectively to seal their places in the last-four stage of the tournament.

Air India, who led 1-0 at the break, looked far from impressive as they struggled to find their rhythm and should be indebted to goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh who brought off numerous fine saves.

For Air India, Arjun Halappa struck twice while an own goal and a late strike by Shivendra Singh completed their tally. Jharkhand replied through Diwakar Ram and Anil Xaxa.   
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