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Chennai Veerans brush aside Orissa Steelers
January 09, 2006 12:35 IST
Chennai Veerans brushed aside the challenge of newcomers Orissa Steelers by a lone silver goal in the extra-time in a Tier II match of the Premier Hockey League II at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Raghunath and Alfred Asir did a commendable job in the defence for the Veerans whereas forwards Raja and Adam Sinclair were starved of passes and their midfield looked disjointed as Orissa Steelers gave some anxious moments to the Veerans in the keenly-contested match.
Steelers skipper Sunil Ekka and Rajesh Chouhan worked tirelessly but failed to make any inroads.
In the 77th minute, Raghunath, who did a wonderful job in the defence for Veerans, scored the match-winner sending a waist-high drag-flick for which rival custodian Gurpreet Singh had no answer.
According to the new PHL rules, the first half of the 15-minute extra-time will be played for the silver goal where play will continue for the whole seven-and-a-half minutes even if a goal is scored.
But if the scores are tied, the second half of extra-time will be played to decide the match on the basis of golden goal.
Earlier in the day, Imphal Rangers managed a narrow 3-2 win over Lucknow Nawabs in another Tier II match.
The tie was of crucial importance for both the minnows as in the final analysis, the team to be relegated from PHL is likely to be decided on the basis of the result of this match.
After a goalless first quarter, Rangers shot into lead in the 21st minute through the goal of striker M Chittaranjan, who scored off a move from the right flank.
But, their joy was short-lived as Lucknow Nawabs restored parity in the very next minute when put in possession by Arvind Yadav from the top of the circle Sanjay Yadav sounded the board.
Then Nawabs took the lead in the 31st minute through another field goal. This time Arvind Yadav finished the move from a narrow angle on the left.
Undaunted, Rangers continued to attack and with Brojen Singh, Chittaranjan and Hera Singh weaving patterns upfront.
The Nawabs' moves were cut down by their five-man half line where Hemjit Singh and Tennyson combined well in the center. Tomba Singh played a sweeper-back to assist Jayanta Singh in the defence.
In the 41st minute, Jayanta Singh converted their sixth penalty corner with a smart drag-flick to score the equaliser and then skipper Brojen Singh scored the winner in the 54th minute.
Rangers scored one of their seven short corners while Nawabs failed to utilise any of the four they got.