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Sandeep Singh inspires Shan-e-Punjab to win
September 11, 2005 20:41 IST
Indian drag flicker Sandeep Singh inspired Shan-e-Punjab to a 5-4 victory over Northern Cavaliers in a nine-goal thriller on the third day of the inaugural Super Hockey League at the National Hockey stadium in Karachi.
After Arjun Halappa masterminded two of the first three Northern Cavaliers goals to put his team 3-1 ahead, Sandeep Singh, playing his first match, sounded the board twice in six minutes to put Shan-e-Punjab 4-3 in front.
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Nadeem, leading Cavaliers, levelled the match at 4-4 five minutes before the second quarter but Tariq Aziz sealed the match with a superb goal against the run of play three minutes before the conclusion of the third quarter.
Cavaliers drew early blood when they grabbed a 2-0 advantage with Mahmood Ali and Mohammad Nadeem scoring in the fourth and sixth minutes. Both the goals came from penalty-corners after Arjun Halappa created inroads in the lazy Shan-e-Punjab defence.
However, Pakistan captain Mohammad Saqlain reduced the margin in the 14th minute when he scored off the first penalty-corner and Shafqat Rasool then scored a field goal to draw level.
Mahmood Ali put Cavaliers back in front with a 23rd minute field goal before Sandeep Singh got into action to exhibit his expertise in penalty-corner conversions, scoring in the 26th and 32nd minutes.
In the other match of the evening, played under heavy downpour, Dilip Tirkey's Sindh Qalanders prevailed over Gagan Ajit Singh's Capital Dynamos 3-2. None of the Indians scored a goal but the game was played at a fast pace with both the teams missing plenty of goal-scoring opportunities.
Gohar Rasool open the scoring for Sindh Qalanders in the second minute which was levelled by Shahid Raza in the 30th minute. Pakistan skipper Shabbir Hussain scored twice in 34th and 46 minutes to put the home team 3-1 ahead.
Dynamos' second and last goal came two minutes before hooter when Pakistan striker Mudassar Ali Khan beat former captain Ahmed Alam from a narrow angle.