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Hyderabad Sultans win opening match
January 13, 2005 23:08 IST
Striker Sameer Dad scored the solitary goal as Hyderabad Sultans got the better of Sher-e-Jalandhar, 1-0, in the opening league match of the Premier Hockey League in Hyderabad on Thursday.
With both the teams locked goalless in the first two quarters, the Hyderabad Sultans stepped up the tempo in the third, constantly raiding the opponents citadel from both the wings.
The persistence paid off as Dad latched on to the rebound off the Sher-e-Jalandhar custodian and made no mistake in slating home the winner for his team.
Having to play without the services of World record goal scorer and penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas, the Hyderabad Sultans adopted a wait and watch policy and concentrated on counter attacks to pressurise their more aggressive opponents.
Led by the reliable Dilip Tirkey, the Hyderabad Sultans kept Gagan Ajit Singh and Daljit Singh under tight vigil and did not allow the two dangerous strikers to break free.
The Sher-e-Jalandhar players took some time to settle down in the first quarter but once they came into their groove it launched some scathing attack on their opponents goal.
The best chance of the quarter came when Gagan ran passed through the defense of the Hyderabad Sultans and unleashed a cracking shot only for Wasim Ahmed to make a diving stop.
Both the teams failed to convert any of the penalty corners that came their way.
Second quarter passed off without much ado as both the teams tried to make some forays into the other court but none could breach the opponent's defense.
With Sultans taking the lead, Sher-e-Jalandhar went for the kill in the final quarter but Tirkey and his men held on the fury to begin their campaign on a winning note.
Expressing satisfaction over the win, Tirkey later said the boys played according to the plan.
"We did miss Sohail Abbas in this match but the boys adapted to the situation well," he said.