Rajkot (Gujarat)[India], October 9 (ANI): Fancied Uttar Pradesh survived a massive scare before pulling off a 5-4 thriller (via penalties) against West Bengal to sneak into the Hockey semifinals of the 36th National Games at the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium.
Formidable Haryana and Karnataka also booked their berths in the Last 4, beating Tamil Nadu and Gujarat 3-0 and 11-2 respectively. In a late match, Maharashtra scored thrice and conceded one against Jharkhand to join them.
In the fight for a place in the Men's summit clash to be played on Monday, Maharashtra will take on Uttar Pradesh while Haryana face off against Karnataka.
The Women's semifinals will be played on Sunday, with Haryana taking on Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh meeting Punjab.
Tamil Nadu's frontline failed to deliver when it mattered most, missing easy chances even as their defence managed to hold the Haryana strike force their keeper Dhinakaran Venkatajalapathy was very impressive, pulling off several saves, including a penalty stroke in the third quarter of the game.
Haryana, however, went ahead in the ninth minute, when skipper Bharat slapped home from close range.
Defender Mandeep Mor converted Haryana's fifth penalty corner to make it 2-0 in their favour. In the 50th minute, Abhishek put it beyond Tamil Nadu's reach, adding one more.
Karnataka's Sheshe Gowda BM hogged the limelight, netting only the second hat-trick of the Games as they thrashed hosts Gujarat.
Karnataka played well below their normal game, not wanting to risk injury to their key players ahead of the semifinals.
"We played it sage. It was a free and easy outing," Shankar B Tolamatti, former Karnataka coach, who is here as an observer, said.
Goals came at regular intervals and halfway through Karnataka had a cushion of 6-1.
Sheshe Gowda BM (3), Mohammed Raheel Moussen, Pranam Gowda YM Harish Mutagar (two each) Nachappa, S V Sunil (C) (all one each) scored for Karnataka while Shyamprakash Yadav, Himalay Thakur reduced the margin for the host. (ANI)