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Lucknow Nawabs shock Delhi Dazzlers
January 12, 2006 18:12 IST
Underdogs Lucknow Nawabs handed out a shock 3-4 defeat to last-year's first division runners-up Delhi Dazzlers and register their first victory in Tier II of the Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh on Thursday.
After taking a commanding 4-1 lead by half-time, the Nawabs staved off a determined comeback by Dazzlers to snatch full points.
Playing the 4-3-3 format, Nawabs opened their account in the sixth minute with a fast counter-attack after an aborted penalty-corner by Delhi Dazzlers.
Nawabs' Sanjay Yadav got a long ball in midfield and he broke free on the left from defender Kushwant Singh and gave a short pass to an unmarked Cyril Ekka, who stepped into the circle and hit home. (1-0)
However, Dazzlers restored parity within three minutes with a stylish goal by Ajitpal Singh. Following a move from the left flank, Sanjeev Kumar put Ajitpal in possession and, facing away from the goal, the wily striker sent in a classic reverse flick which stunned the Nawabs' goalkeeper, Raziuddin, who otherwise did an excellent job under the bar.
Nawabs regained the lead in the 15th minute through a sudden and swift switch from defence to attack. With a long diagonal pass from the rival 25-yard line, a hardworking Hamza Mujtaba found Kamlesh Parihar just outside the circle and Kamlesh wasted no time in darting into the circle and driving home. His sizzling grounder brooked no answer from Delhi custodian Sandeep Kumar.
Later, Lucknow Nawabs scored two goals in the space of three minutes and by the end of the second quarter were sitting pretty at 4-1.
In the 33rd minute, Cyril Ekka sent a reverse hit from a narrow angle on the left but Delhi goalkeeper Sandeep blocked the shot. Sanjay Yadav trapped the rebound near the spot and slammed home. (3-1)
On the stroke of half-time, Nawabs earned their fifth and last penalty-corner Kamlesh Parihar took a direct hit which deflected off a defender's stick and settled in the net. (4-1)
Thereafter, with Nawabs falling back to defend in numbers, the Delhi team mounted pressure and fought back with two goals but ran out of time.
In the 51st minute, Kushwant Singh Bagwa sent a drag flick into the net and that was the
Three minutes later, Delhi struck again with Ajitpal Singh in the thick of the action. Ajitpal took a hit that was padded away by rival keeper but he dived and slammed in the rebound. (3-4).
Delhi Dazzlers made desperate attempts to get the equalizer and push the match into extra-time but the Nawabs defence held together to earn a deserving win.