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Orissa Steelers rout Nawabs
January 11, 2006 20:47 IST
Strong contenders Orissa Steelers bulldozed their way past Lucknow Nawabs to post a 6-1 victory in a Tier II match of the Premier Hockey League at the Sector 42 Hockey stadium in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
The Nawabs took a first look at the rival goal and earned two successive penalty-corners in the first three minutes but failed to score from them.
However, with a potent frontline of Sunil Ekka and Rajesh Chouhan working in tandem with Bruno Hadrian, Birendra Lakra and Roshan Minz, Orissa Steelers weaved patterns upfront to harass the Nawabs' defence.
They drew first blood in the sixth minute when skipper Ekka made best use of a defence-splitting cross from Bruno to find the goal (1-0).
Early in the second quarter, Nawabs survived a close call when goalkeeper Raziuddin made a good save off a Birendra Lakra hit. However, Orissa increased the margin in the 25th minute through Sushil Tete, who received the ball just outside the circle and stepped in to bang the board.
Within two minutes, Nawabs pulled one back to keep themselves at a striking distance but the fight fizzled out as Steelers added four more goals, three in the last quarter. Nawabs initiated a move on the right flank and Cyril Ekka after moving down to the right corner of the field sent in a sizzling center and there ensued a melee in the goalmouth. With Steelers goalie Gurpreet Singh lying on the ground, Nawabs` Hamza Mujtaba got the ball behind him and he just tapped it into an open goal.
In the 43rd minute, Orissa failed to succeed from their second penalty-corner with Nawabs' first runner thwarting Kuldeep Singh. But the ball came back into the circle and Inder Singh Salaria took a hit at the goal. The ball rebounded off goalkeeper Raziuddin's pads and this time Bruno sounded the board to make it 3-1.
Thereafter, Lucknow Nawabs tried hard to come back into the match with Hamza Mujtaba and Cyril Ekka working hard but the Orissa midfield, comprising Rajesh Lakra, Inder Singh and Anand Tirkey played a compact game to cut off the rival moves and supported the defence well.
In the 60th minute, Sunil Ekka made it 4-1 with a hit from the top of the D and three minutes later Rajesh Chouhan added one more from the team's third and last penalty-corner.
After selling a dummy, the first hit was saved by Raziuddin, but Rajesh slammed the rebound home. Just a minute before the hooter, Birender Lakra rounded off the tally to make it 6-1.
Roshan Minz`s stinging hit was blocked by the rival custodian and Nawabs' defender Shekhar Mishra cleared the ball. However, it came as far as Lakra, who adjusted his position before slamming the ball in.
In the crucial reverse match, Orissa Steelers take on Chennai Veerans tomorrow while Nawabs face Delhi Dazzlers on the same day.
Steelers have seven points while Nawabs are yet to open their account.UNI