Bangalore: Gurjinder Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored thrice each as Punjab drubbed Services 7-2 in their last Pool C league match and booked a quarterfinal berth in the second Hockey India Senior National Men's Championships here on Thursday.
In a match that was twice interrupted by rains, Services, who needed only a draw to advance to the knock-out stage, failed to deliver as Punjab notched their second win in the three-team pool.
Gurjinder put Punjab ahead with a ninth minute penalty corner conversion only to see Services bounce back with an equaliser from Lovepreet Singh (25th) who diverted a cross from Mukesh Lakra.
Gurjinder Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored thrice each as Punjab drubbed Services 7-2 in their last Pool C league match.
After change of ends, Punjab were lucky to get their second goal after Gurjinder's attempt from a 43rd minute penalty corner saw the ball rolled over the goal-line off goalkeeper PT Rao's pads and the stick of defender Rajesh Lakra whose robust tackle had resulted in the award.
The Services caught up a second time when Sanwar Ali found the target from a penalty corner in the 54th before the floodgates opened as Akashdeep (58th, 66th, 70th), Gurjinder (62nd) and Satbir Singh (69th) struck for Punjab.
The pool originally had five teams, but Arunachal Pradesh did not turn up and Chhattisgarh were expelled from the tournament earlier this week on disciplinary grounds.
The Services had beaten Jammu and Kashmir 18-0 in their earlier match. Punjab had won 12-1 against Jammu and Kashmir.
Since Services have a better goal-difference, a draw on Thursday would have put them in the quarterfinals.
In another match at the MEG grounds, Chandigarh kept their hopes alive of a knock-out stage berth with a second win in three Pool D outings, defeating Goa 14-2 while Jharkhand beat Uttarakhand 7-1 for their second victory in as many matches.
Pool A: Puducherry 2 (Manthena 30; Jayaraj 43) drew with Bengal 2 (Asis Singh Sengar 38; Gurvinder Singh 65).
Pool B: Delhi 10 (Avatar Singh Mann 18, 52; Umesh 34, 44; Shyambir 46, 48; Lalit 32; Pawan Singh Chouhan 54) beat Mizoram 1 (Lalringheta 1st).
Andhra Pradesh 5 (Ramesh Krishnan 15, 33; Ramesh Setti 17; Sandeep Raju 30; Krishna Kishore 69) beat Himachal Pradesh 4 (Amit Lochab 13, 48; Sarabjeet Singh 23; Lakhvir Singh 70).
Pool C: Punjab 7 (Gurjinder Singh 9, 43, 62; Akashdeep Singh 58, 66, 70; Satbir Singh 68) beat Services 2 (Lovepreet Singh 25; Sanwar Ali 54).
Pool D: Jharkhand 7 (Ajitesh Roy 2, 34, 40, 46, 68; Anil Xaxa 41; Gainder Tigga 70) beat Uttarakhand 1 (Manoj Singh Rawat 27).
Chandigarh 14 (Deepanshu Bhargava 7, 16, 23; Raminder Singh 12, 53; Sandeep Singh 30, 66; Lakhwinder Singh 38, 51; Ravinder Singh 24; Harmanpreet Singh 32; Shahnawaz Alam 45; Lovedeep 60; Kulbhushan Vashisht 63) beat Goa 2 (Glen Prad 46, Dattesh Priolkar 70).
Pool F: Uttar Pradesh 24 (Chandan Singh 6, 13, 20, 42, 44, 51, 53; Jayakaran 14, 56, 57; Abhishek 16, 21, 22; Imran Khan 24, 59, 64; Mohd Amir Khan 26, 28, 49, 55, 66, 68, 69; Chauhan Singh 50) beat Tripura 0.
Pool H: Manipur 9 (Chittaranjan Singh 8, 46; Herojit Singh 17, 51, 68; Hera Singh 12; Gayan Enderjit 30; Jayanta Kumar Meitel 40; Abung Singh 55) beat Bihar 3 (Chotu Kumar 1; Brisha Bhengra 54, 66).