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Hyderabad Sultans tame Bangalore Lions
January 28, 2006 00:29 IST
Defending champions Hyderabad Sultans ended their campaign on a winning note, chalking out a 6-4 victory over Bangalore Lions via the tie-breaker, in the Premier Hockey League at the Sector 42 Hockey stadium in Chandigarh on Friday.
Sultans now have 13 points, but await the result of the last two matches.
The scores were tied 2-2 after regulation time and with the teams failing to break the deadlock in extra-time, the tie-breaker was resorted to.
For Hyderabad Sultans, Didar Singh, Shakeel Abbasi, Sameer Dad and Vikram Pillay were successful from the spot while only Arjun Halappa and Sandeep Michael converted for Bangalore Lions.
Rehan Butt's push hit the post and Ignace Tirkey`s week push was saved by Sultans' custodian Salman Akbar.
Earlier, after some mediocre midfield play, Bangalore Lions opened their account in the 15th minute. Following a raid from the right, Sabu Varkey put Rehan Butt in possession, but as the Pakistani cut into the circle a foul on him by Sultans' Devinder Singh saw umpire Satinder Sharma signal for a penalty-corner.
Lions' drag-flick specialist Len Aiyappa, who was forced to change his stick before the match due to a new regulation on the reduction of the bow of the stick, still proved potent enough and beat Sultans' Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar with power and pace from a well-executed drag flick to provide the lead for Lions. (1-0)
But Sultans restored parity in the second quarter despite missing a penalty- corner. Lions' defender Aiyappa made a brilliant goal line save off a Didar Singh flick in the 23rd minute but negated the advantage a little later with a bad trap. Sultans` midfielder Vikram Pillay, who got the 'Lion of the day award' for his good showing today, sent a long ball into the circle from a free hit. The ball rose from a bad trap from Len and Sultans` Spanish forward Jorge Lombi, who was lurking near the goalkeeper, tapped the ball in to restore parity. (1-1)
Sultans went ahead in the same quarter, which showed the brilliance of their Pakistani import Shakeel Abbasi.
In the 30th minute, Bangalore Lions lost the ball in midfield after an Arjun Halappa wrong pass and Sultans mounted a swift turnover with Sardar Singh sending a quick pass to Didar Singh on the right. Didar sent the ball into the circle, and with no attacker in sight, Lions` Aiyappa waited for an onrushing custodian Bharat Chetri to clear it, but Abbasi darted in from nowhere, stole the ball, and on-the-run sent a sizzling hit from zero angle to beat a diving Chitri. (2-1)
Bangalore Lions, however, came back in the third quarter to restore parity.
In the 46th minute, a raid from the middle initiated by Ajay Siroha saw Quintana with the ball at the top of the circle. With Sultans` defender Lazarus Barla pestering him, Quitana gave a back pass to Ignace Tirkey. He then got the ball back and opened up the angle, moving a step ahead, and sent a zooming hit which gave no chance to Sultans` goalkeeper Salman Akbar.