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Hi-Fliers beat Sultans
December 27, 2007 21:23 IST
Former champions Bangalore Hi-Fliers kept themselves in the race for a semifinal berth with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Hyderabad Sultans in the Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Bangalore took time to settle down but soon took control of the midfield where Bimal Lakra stood out. They did well to keep at bay the forays of Hyderabad forwards Didar Singh and Sardara Singh.
Bangalore shot ahead in the 23rd minute. A raid from the middle saw Cheyanna send in a short cross from the top of the circle to Arjun Halappa on the left. Arjun took a fierce shot at the goal and just in front of the rival goalkeeper, Bangalore's Korean import You Hyo-sik deflected the ball into the goal.
Bangalore continued to exert pressure in the third quarter but Hyderabad slotted the equalizer in the 46th minute. A long chopped ball from the midfield by Jasbir Singh entered the circle and Vinay tried to stop it. The ball rose and Didar Singh sneaked in and scored from handshaking distance.
However, Bangalore kept up the tempo and found the match-winner in the 60th minute through a brilliant field goal.
Following a raid from the right flank, Vinay sent a defence splitting cross from the right corner of the field and found an unmarked Tushar Khandekar in the circle.
From the edge of the circle, Tushar stopped the ball and sent a stinging shot which zoomed into the goal like a bullet.
Thereafter, Bangalore defended stubbornly to foil the forays of Hyderabad and hung on to the narrow lead to gain three points and keep themselves in the race for the semifinals.
After four matches each, Bangalore Hi-Fliers now head the table with 8 points while Hyderabad Sultans remain on five.
Tushar Khandekar was declared man of the match.